- Children can present a blank slate for fraudsters because they generally don’t have credit reports
- Use of a child’s Social Security number for fraudulent purposes may not be detected for years
- There are steps you can take to help better protect your children’s information
Children can be vulnerable targets for identity larceny, because those under the long time of 18 typically do not have credit reports .
That means children are often a blank slate for fraudsters who can apply for credit and take out loans in their diagnose. Use of a child ’ s Social Security number for deceitful purposes can go undetected for years, since parents may not check to see if their children have credit reports. It ’ s only subsequently, when the child is a young adult and may be attempting to rent an apartment or get a credit wag, that the identity larceny is discovered.
Children ’ s information can besides be used in what ’ s known as “ celluloid identity theft. ” This occurs when juke identities are created using information from unlike people or assumed information. It can besides include real Social Security numbers .
identity thieves can besides use children ’ s Social Security numbers to file a assumed tax come back, or try to use it to claim a child who is not theirs on a tax fall for tax credit purposes .
The think of person stealing your child ’ randomness identity can be frightening. But there are some steps you can take to help better protect their data .
Check your child’s credit reports
starting signal by checking to see if your child has a credit rating report. If they do, that may be a loss flag indicating possible identity larceny. If a credit report is found, inform the credit rating chest of drawers it may be deceitful. You may need to provide documents to credit chest of drawers to verify your child ’ south identity and your own .
Consider a free security freeze
security system freezes are one joyride you can use to prevent access to your child ’ s credit reports. A credit reputation will be created for your child, then frigid. If you are the rear or legal defender of a child under 16, you can place a security freeze on their recognition reports. You ’ ll need to provide proof of your identity and theirs and proofread that you are their parent or legal defender .
security system freezes must be placed individually with each of the three nationally credit agency .
Download the Equifax Minor Freeze Request Form for instructions on placing a security freeze, what documents you ’ ll indigence and the mail address. You can besides contact Experian and TransUnion.
Consider a credit monitoring product
You can look for a citation monitor product that allows you to add children and monitors their credit reports for activity. Some products may allow you to lock or unlock your child ’ s recognition report .
Keep your child’s documents in a safe place
This includes your child ’ mho Social Security tease, birth certificate, aesculapian indemnity card, any legal documents and his or her recommendation .
Don’t share your child’s personal information unless it’s absolutely necessary
Ask whether your child ’ randomness doctor of the church needs his or her sociable Security count, or if you could provide the final four digits. If you must provide it to his or her school, ask how the information will be protected and who can access it .
Educate your children about online behavior
As your child grows older, educate him or her about on-line privacy and security, and set rules for what information can not be shared on-line. lecture to them about how to politely refuse when asked to share personal information on-line or in person. You can besides help them set strong passwords on accounts and devices.
If your child is a victim of identity theft
If your child ’ s identity has been stolen, here are some steps you can take :
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the ID theft and get a recovery plan.
- Contact your local law enforcement and get a police report.
- Contact the fraud departments of companies where accounts were opened in your child’s name. Ask them to close the account and send you a letter of confirmation. You may need to provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate and a police report.
- Contact the nationwide credit bureaus to alert them to the fraudulent activity.
The FTC recommends checking to see if your child has a credit report as his or her 16th birthday nears. If there is a credit report card, you may have time to address the position before your child is applying for a job, an apartment or a vehicle loanword .