Child identity theft and other scams to watch for

Child identity theft and other scams to watch for
Child identity theft and other scams to watch for

Unless you harbor some sort of digital death wish, you've undoubtedly spent time worrying about the ever-multiplying ways high-tech scammers can make life miserable by stealing your money, creditworthiness or identity.

Forewarned is forearmed, so here are some of the hottest scams to be aware of this summer.

Infant Identity Theft
One of the latest jaw-dropping, sleep-robbing threats involves identity thieves targeting the inactive Social Security numbers of children, which they sell to help others establish phony credit and run up massive debts they'll never pay off.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), miscreants who purchase these Social Security numbers have little or no trouble opening accounts, since banks and other issuers of credit have no way to verify the age of an applicant.

And the identity theft is typically never discovered until the parent tries to open a college savings account, the child starts receiving letters from collection agencies, or even years later, when the then-teen applies for a driver's license. The ITRC's website contains a helpful fact sheet outlining the problem along with advice for victims of child identity theft.

Timeshare Trouble
Thanks to the stagnant economy, many timeshare owners are desperate to unload their properties, and more than a few are finding themselves victims of the latest scam to hit this troubled industry -- phony sales agents.