Every two seconds, someone’s identity is stolen — and it could be your child’s.

From cradle to college, children younger than 18 are 51 times more likely to be victims of identity theft as their parents, according to Carnegie Mellon University’s CYLab. Child identity theft can go undetected for years. When the victims eventually apply for credit cards, student loans or a job, their credit may already be ruined.

Guard your child’s sensitive data as carefully as your own. If your child has a credit report, place a freeze on the report, which is free in Maine. Contact the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection for more information at 1-800-332-8259.

AARP FraudWatch Network is working to educate the public to prevent scams, which are on the rise.

For more information, go to www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork, or call 1-877-908-3360.

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