Child Identity Theft: Is Your Child At Risk?

Author: | Filed under: Types of Identity Theft | Tags: | No Comments »

While identity theft is an issue that is often talked about, what tends to be ignored is the increase in child identity theft. When everyone is born, they are assigned a social security number. Since children don’t generally use their social security number, they are more susceptible to identity theft. Also, their credit report or social security number isn’t typically monitored by families, which also increases the likelihood of being victims of identity theft. When thieves get access to this information, they are able to use a child’s name to get credit cards and obtain additional finances.

When the child identity theft victims reach the age where they begin monitoring their credit reports or apply for credit cards, they might be in for a surprise. They may not get approved for credit, and have no idea why. Once they find out, then they have to begin restoring their credit. This process could takes years, but isn’t necessary as long as the enough caution is taken. The following will discuss child identity theft more in depth and how you can prevent it from happening.

Child Identity Theft

A child’s social security number is used for several reasons. Parents will use to so to a greater tax return on their income, and children will use it to get health insurance. In addition, a SSN will be applied when registering for a doctor, attending a new school, or participating in certain activities. A SSN can get in the wrong hands and put a child at risk for identity theft.

As mentioned, not many parents even think about checking on their child’s credit report. And why would they? Their child has no credit history. So it doesn’t get looked at often times until he or she is ready for a credit card.

Monitoring for child identity theft is not easy. In order to get access to a child’s credit report, you will have to mail a letter requesting the information. Many parents may not even know about child identity theft, or even bother taking the time to get it.

The Process of Child Identity Theft

Once thieves have a SSN in their possession, they can use to find out more information about the victim. Using this information, they can open new bank accounts, apply for credit card, loans, and rack up all kinds of debt. Recovering from identity theft is very challenging, especially if it has been happening for years without anyone knowing.

Preventing Child Identity Theft

Therefore, taking steps to prevent child identity theft is important. You can monitor your child’s credit report by requesting one every 1-2 years. Never disclose any critical details about your child unless it’s absolutely required and the place or person requesting it can be trusted. For example, there is little to no risk giving it to your child’s doctor or to the IRS. Plus, there is no way around not giving it to them if they need it. Keep the SSN in a safe place in your home as opposed to carry it around with you.

Preventing child identity theft doesn’t require doing much, but in this case a little goes a long way.

Leave a Reply