The book describes the crime in detail, who is committing this crime, why children are targeted, what the role of social security numbers play in this type of theft, how people gain access to your child’s or grandchild’s information, and what parents and grandparents can do to help prevent victimization. It also discusses resources to help deal with the emotional trauma that affects the entire family.
According to Chappell, the best tip he can leave you with, both as an experienced law enforcement officer and author, is to take advantage of what the federal government mandates you have the right to receive, which is a free annual credit report. The free credit report is available for both adults and children and will quickly divulge credit that was obtained without permission.
Chappell says that his motto and guiding principle in writing Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to Know is 'education is the key to prevention.' (The Roanoke Star (VA))
A new book penned by a man with ties to Suffolk warns parents about the risk factors for their children becoming victims of identity theft.
Children are 51 times more likely than adults to be victimized by identity theft, according to Robert P. Chappell Jr., who has relatives in Suffolk and who works for the Virginia State Police. Children make attractive targets for identity thieves, because they have no credit history — and therefore good credit, in the eyes of credit issuers — and the crime is likely to go undiscovered for many years.
Credit issuers have no way of verifying birth dates on credit applications, a loophole that needs to be closed, Chappell said.
“We need to educate parents on things to look for,” Chappell said.
He was inspired to write the book, “Child Identity Theft: What Every Parents Needs to Know,” when he returned to work from an Army Reserve deployment and noticed a significant change in the type of identity thefts compared to what had been occurring prior to his deployment, he said.
He began trying to research child identity theft and discovered a knowledge gap. Several bookstore chains and two public library systems turned up nothing on the topic. He tried an online search and came up with limited information focusing on child identity theft.
That’s when he set out to write his own book, which is being carried by 323 book chains across America and in 30 foreign countries.
“It definitely appears to be something that the book chains feel that readers would be interested in,” he said.
The book is written in question-and-answer format, so chapters are brief and do not require a lot of time investment.
“They can get a lot of information in a short period of time,” Chappell said.
(Suffolk News-Herald (VA))
Child identity predators are drawn to the fact that their victims’ Social Security numbers are unused. Child identity theft often goes undetected until the victims are older and run into difficulty trying to get driver’s licenses, credit cards, college loans, apartment rentals, or jobs. What’s more, resolving these problems is difficult and time-consuming. This book provides helpful ways to avoid child identity theft, as well as steps to clear any occurrences of identity theft. (Matt Cullina, CEO, IDentity Theft 911)
Robert P. Chappell, Jr.'s new book, Child Identity Theft, is in my opinion one of the best books on Identity Theft written to date. Robert takes the reader on a guided tour of all of the known issues that a child identity theft case can have, and provides clear, accurate, timely guidance so the parent can clear their child’s name and restore their future. I would suggest that this is a must read for parents everywhere and foster care social workers. Robert has marked the way to guide you out of an identity theft nightmare.
(Jay Foley, partner, Identity Theft Info Source)
This book is organized in a way that directly addresses the problems and issues facing concerned parents. It is particularly clearly written and provides just the necessary level of technical detail for the reasonably computer-savvy reader. (Paul Barnes, professor Macquarie University, Australia; director of the International Fraud Prevention Research Centre)
With his research and firsthand knowledge, Robert Chappell has prepared a book that will help parents avoid the pitfalls of child identity theft thereby safeguarding their children’s future. His noble effort should be read by all. (Don Goodman, Chief of Police, Radford City (VA) Police Department)
Every parent needs to be aware of how the bad guys are trying to take advantage of you and your children. Robert Chappell provides a step-by-step description of how to detect and prevent your children from being the victim of identity theft! (Marty Williams, State President, Fraternal Order of Police of Virginia)
Robert Chappell has written a well-researched, invaluable book about a very important topic. It is a comprehensive, hands-on resource with practical examples that provide not just solutions but prevention. This is a must for parents to protect their child’s identity. (Cindy Orshek, director, National Criminal Justice Command College, University of Virginia)
From the Author
I sought the help of my local bookstores for information. My goal was to find a book written on the topic of child identity theft to help educate me on the crime. During my first bookstore visit, I was unable to locate published books on the store computer, at the customer service desk or even with the help of store employees. I left thinking that it was a "chain" issue and that another bookstore would have something. This was the constant theme as I visited several other national bookstore chains in my community. My next research attempt was at my local public libraries...no luck there. Finally, I tried an extensive online search. While there was information available about general identity theft, there was limited information with specific focus on child identity theft.
Having found nothing concrete to work with, I began my quest to write a book. My goal in writing, "Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to Know," was to educate parents, law enforcement officials, educators, medical professionals, coaches, care takers, social workers, and many others in industries and services which care for our children. I used the knowledge I gained by working with victims to help publicize and prevent this crime. I believe that every individual educated is like a drop of water in a large pond. Education is the key to prevention, and each individual who becomes more educated on this crime creates a protective barrier, or "pond," around our children. Our goal, together, should be to protect children in the United States, as well as around the world, from the unfathomable crime of child identity theft.