Teens are Latest Victims of Online Identity Theft

Kake Mauia
Kake Mauia
Ciera Silaofaita
Ciera Silaofaita
Mark Villaver
Mark Villaver

(KHNL) -  Online identity theft is one the fastest growing crimes in the nation and teens are becoming the latest victims. Clean credit and a low level of identity theft awareness are the top two reasons teens are being targeted. But there are ways they can prevent themselves from becoming a victim.

Social networking sites like myspace are growing in popularity but it's also a breeding ground for thieves to find their next victim.

"Nowadays there are new technology kids are interested in they find a lot of stuff and download a lot of stuff," said high school student Kake Mauia.

And what they're posting online.

"Their age, their status, their number," said student Ciera Silaofaita.

A new national survey shows an alarming number of teens are making it easier for thieves to steal their identity.

"Because they're young, don't know what to do, they just fall for anything," said student Mark Villaver.

Experts warn a teen's identity is more valuable than money and the best way to protect themselves is awareness of the problem.

Some tips to keep in mind:

Keep your birth certificate and Social Security card in a safe place.

Do not give your personal information over the phone or Internet unless you are sure you are interacting with a reputable organization.

For older young adults, check your credit report completely before applying for a student loan or your first apartment.

And If you're heading to college, ask the school not to use your Social Security number as your college ID number.

But perhaps the best advice may be:

"Just don't look at it, just delete it," said Villaver.