Remember To Protect Your Kids Against Identity Theft
Most people do what they are supposed to do about identity theft. They don’t carry their Social Security card in their wallet; they check their credit card receipts every month; and they check their credit reports at least once a year. But have you considered your children’s identity? While obviously, they do not have credit cards, they do have a social security number. Has that number been used to buy a house, get a credit card or even get a job?
Because kids have no active credit or no credit history, there is nothing to check. They don’t get bills in the mail to clue you in and there is no reason to check out their credit reports. Therefore, there is no reason why an identity thief would want your child’s identity. If you believe this, you would be wrong. Children’s numbers can get stolen from schools and hospitals who traditionally have little security measures in place to prevent identity theft of a child’s personal information. And, unfortunately, many identity thieves are a relative of a child so it makes it even harder to catch.
To identity thieves, a social security number is just a number. They do not care whether it belongs to an adult or a child (or even a deceased person!). If they can get that number and just a few other pieces of information (easily obtainable), they have enough information to obtain credit and ruin a child’s credit before that child is old enough to apply! When that child is 18 and applies for credit, they may find that they have already been working for 15 years, or that they have 6 credit cards and a mortgage. Unfortunately, if the identity theft misused the credit, this child’s credit could be ruined before they even start, and may take years to unravel.
What to do? You run your own credit report at least once a year (hopefully three times a year- once for each credit repository). Remember to run your children’s numbers through as well. Although nothing should come up, you will be glad if you find something that you can deal with it now and not 15 years from now.
If you need help, or further information about how to protect your child, please feel free to contact us at info(a)identitytheftforum.net. Also check out The Little Book of Identity Theft at http://www.ourlittlebooks.com/educational.html.
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: child, child's personal information, children, children's identity theft, identity theft, identity theft protection, personal information, social security card, Social Security number.