How to protect your Child’s Identity
As many as 140,000 kids have their identities stolen by strangers each year, according to ID Analytics. Identity thieves often target children’s social security numbers specifically because their lack of identity makes them easy targets for someone else to assume. Our Certified Financial Planner Denisa Tova is here to tell us what you can do if it happens to your child and how to protect your child’s identity.
According to Identity Theft Resource Center the perpetrator may be a family member or a stranger who purposely targets children because of the lengthy time between the theft of the information and the discovery of the crime.
You should file an "identity theft complaint" with the Federal Trade Commission
Report it to your local police department
Contact financial institutions if your child’s SSN was used to open up any accounts, and request for any accounts to be closed.
Contact all three credit bureaus to see if there's a credit file. Your child should not have one until he or she applies for their own credit app as an adult. If so, ask for any negative information in your child’s credit report to be removed
Visit the Identity Theft Resource Center because they have great resources for victims of identity theft, including a Parent Guide.
According to MSNBC, there is really not much you can do as a parent other than keeping an eye on certain red flags, like:
Calls from collection agencies
Warrants for traffic violations for a child without a driver’s license
Denial of government assistance because the child is already receiving benefits
A job verification call when the child has never worked
Finally, putting a "freeze" on a credit report will prevent new accounts from being opened.
There are credit monitoring services that will monitor your family report for a fee.
Better yet, save your money and check to see if your child has a credit file from time to time.