Child Identity Theft
Most people think that identity theft is only an issue that adults have to deal with. However, more and more children are getting their identity stolen before they are even old enough to have a job. To help ensure that your child does not fall victim to identity theft, keep these protection tips in mind.
- Keep your child’s Social Security number private – many times, a new school or doctor will ask for your child’s Social Security number. If anyone asks for their number, ask how it will be used and protected. Keep any documents that have your child’s social security number in a safe place, and shred the documents if you throw them away.
- Look for a credit report – until your child is old enough to get a job or open a credit card, they should not have a credit report. At least once a year, find out if your child has a credit report that is available, since it can be a good sign that their identity has been stolen.
- Educate your children – make sure your child knows how to keep their personal information and identity safe while online or using a smart phone. Teaching them the importance of keeping their personal information safe can help to ensure that they do not have to deal with any serious issues down the line.
- Keep an eye on the mail – if your child starts receiving collection notices, financial offers, or pre-approved credit card solicitations, it could mean that their name has an active credit file associated with it, so make sure to check with a credit reporting agency as soon as possible.