MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Before kids head back to school in the fall, a security expert wants parents to be aware of a disturbing child identity scam that emerged before the pandemic began.
The Better Business Bureau warned of scammers targeting parents offering free child safety kits that puts their identities at risk.READ MORE: Family Not Taking Time Together For Granted After Father’s Battle With COVID-19
“With students returning back to school in the fall and the emphasis being placed on student safety and the re-entry into society, a lot of scammers are looking to take advantage of that,” said Adam Coughran, a security expert and former police officer.
Coughran said the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped scammers from doing whatever they can to get your information, including your kid’s.
“They don’t really have a history on their credit report, they haven’t had a chance to develop bad habits or create debt so it’s usually a clean slate,” said Coughran.
At the end of 2019, the BBB advised that scammers contact parents by phone or social media offering the kit and ask for your child’s name, address birthday and social security number.READ MORE: South Florida’s Coyote Population Has Boomed
That information in the wrong hands can lead to identity theft.
“They can use this information just like they would an adult to procure credit card information, open up new accounts, banking information,” said Coughran.
CBS4 meteorologist Jennifer Correa said she got a suspicious call recently offering a similar kit and wants South Florida parents to remain vigilant.
“I definitely didn’t give my home address, I didn’t give any personal information like that,” said Correa. “It could be a set up for a robbery, or it’s not a robbery and they could steal your identity.”
The BBB said it’s important to check your child’s credit report every year for signs of fraud.MORE NEWS: Fort Lauderdale PD Confirms Driver Accidentally Hit Wilton Manors Pride Parade Participants
Real child safety kits can be extremely valuable for law enforcement if a child is ever reported missing.