ID Analytics Study Finds Six Million U.S. Parents And Children Inappropriately Sharing Identity Information

Nearly Three Million Elderly Parents are Likely Victims of Identity Manipulation at the Hands of Their Adult Children

SAN DIEGO, CA – Nearly six million parents and children in the U.S. are inappropriately sharing identity information according to new data released today from ID Analytics’ ID:A Labs. While the study found that about 500,000 children under the age of 18 have had their identities stolen by a parent, perhaps most shocking is the finding that two to three million elderly parents are likely victims of identity theft initiated by their adult children.

While other studies have examined child identity theft, the ID Analytics study is the first to examine how many parents are perpetrating this criminal act on their own children. This is also the first time that data has been presented on the number of adult children that are manipulating their elderly parents’ identities. Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer of ID Analytics, will discuss these and other findings tomorrow at ID Analytics’ consumer risk conference, Advance 2011: Rediscovering the Consumer, in San Diego, Calif.

Key findings include:

  • All in the Family—About six million parents and children improperly share identity information, specifically Social Security numbers (SSNs).
  • Betraying Children’s Trust—Nearly 500,000 children under the age of 18 have had their identities stolen by a parent.
  • Thanks Mom and Dad—A growing number of adult children have used their parent’s identity information for fraudulent reasons, with more than two million elderly victims in the past few years.

“The realities of familial identity theft are far worse than anything you see in a soap opera. It is the ultimate in family betrayal,” said Dr. Coggeshall. “Most consumers think of this type of manipulation as something inflicted by a stranger or a criminal scamming the system, when in reality a lot of identity manipulation may be a betrayal by a trusted parent, child or another family member.”

Understanding the Methodology
To provide greater insight into the scope of identity manipulations, ID:A Labs conducted a study of more than 300 million consumers in the U.S. The study quantified the extent and severity of deliberate identity manipulation for each of 307 million people, as seen across more than a billion different applications for credit and telecommunications products and services. The study ignored the many instances of data errors/typos by focusing on multiple and systematic improper variation of identity information.

About ID:A Labs

ID:A Labs reveals important trends in consumer behavior by examining identity use to help organizations better manage both the risk and opportunity of an individual consumer. ID:A Labs is a multidisciplinary group of mathematicians, computer scientists, economists, financial experts, cognitive scientists and advisors from ID Analytics and other respected institutions.

ID:A Labs conducts research and analysis in the areas of identity fraud, credit risk, marketing and segmentation, authentication and identity proofing. The Labs leverage the ID Network®, the nation’s first network of cross-industry consumer behavioral data. Backed by patented technology, world-class analytics and the ID Network, ID:A Labs researches, analyzes and reports on developments in consumer behavior, identity- and credit-related issues, the regulatory landscape and innovations in analytics around modeling and machine learning.

About ID Analytics, Inc.

ID Analytics is transforming consumer risk management with patented analytics, proven expertise, and real-time insight into consumer behavior. By combining proprietary data from the ID Network®—one of the nation’s largest networks of cross-industry behavioral data—with advanced science, ID Analytics provides unprecedented visibility into identity risk and creditworthiness. Every day, the largest U.S. companies and critical government agencies rely on ID Analytics to make risk-based decisions that enhance revenue, reduce fraud, drive cost savings, and protect consumers. Please visit us on the web at

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