Are you protecting your Child’s Identity from Theft? Approximately 1.3 million children have their identity stolen each year, and 50% are under the age of 6. Identity theft on a children may occur as early as 3 weeks of age, when the social security card is issued.
Stealing a child’s identity is the perfect scenario for an identity thief, a clean social security number, pristine credit, and anywhere from 14-18 years until the identity theft is noticed.When a thief uses a child’s identity and a positive credit score is received there is endless opportunities. The identity thief will then have the ability to apply for credit cards, loans, utilities and apply for government benefits. The thief will start racking up bills and at the time the credit score starts dropping the thief will drop the credit file and move on the the next victim. Leaving the child with horrible credit even before they are of legal age to sign a binding contract. It is not uncommon for the identity thief to be a parent or guardian of the minor child.
At the time identity theft on a child has a occurred a credit file is created using the incorrect and inaccurate information, once the theft has been discovered you must dispute negative information. It can be difficult to have this information
Prevention of Child Identity Theft
- Keep all documents in a secured place.
- Do not share personal information with anyone other a trusted source, make sure the child knows how important it is to keep personal information confidential.
- Stay up to date on any security breaches at the child’s school or doctor’s office.
- Pull the child’s credit file every six months.
- Put a freeze on the child’s credit file.
Child Identity Theft Warning Signs Suggested by the FTC.
- Being turned down for Government benefits, because the benefits are issued to another person.
- Receiving collection calls from debt collectors.
- Receiving pre-approval letters for credit cards.
- The child already has a credit file.
What to do if your child’s Identity has been stolen.
When the child’s identity has been stolen you will need to contact the credit reporting agencies to do a manual check on the child’s credit file. At age 14 a child may request a copy of his or her own report, if the identity theft is before the age 14 a parent or guardian must request it. The parent or guardian must provide birth certificate listing the child’s names, child’s social security card, the parent or guardians government issued id, and address verification. When the credit file has proven fraudulent activity, you then will need to create a fraud alert with the company providing the credit and with the credit bureaus. It will be very important during this time to keep detailed notes of all conversations and letters you may receive.
Credit Bureaus Contact Information