Child identity theft is a growing problem. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that there are 500,000 new victims every year. The culprits are often parents or others who have direct access to the child's Social Security number. (In my own experience, I've had to give out my children's Social Security numbers to hospitals, insurers, and schools more than I can count.) When irresponsible parents apply for credit in their children's names due to existing financial hardships, the soiling of their credit begins.