How To Protect Your Child From Identity Theft

Learn what child identity larceny is, how to detect it, how to protect your child ’ second personal information, and what to do if person steals your child ’ south identity .

What Is Child Identity Theft?

Child identity larceny happens when person takes a child ’ s sensitive personal information and uses it to get services or benefits, or to commit fraud. They might use your child ’ randomness Social Security act, identify and cover, or date of birth. They could use the stolen information to

  • apply for government benefits, like health care coverage or nutrition assistance
  • open a bank or credit card account
  • apply for a loan
  • sign up for a utility service, like water or electricity
  • rent a place to live

How To Protect Your Child’s Personal Information

here ’ s what you can do to protect your child from identity larceny .

Ask questions before giving anyone your child’s Social Security number

If your child ’ south school asks for your child ’ s Social Security number, ask these questions :

  1. Why do you need it?
  2. How will you protect it?
  3. Can you use a different identifier?
  4. Can you use just the last four digits of the Social Security number?

Protect documents with personal information

If you have documents with your child ’ mho personal information, like medical bills or their social Security card, keep them in a safe place, like a locked file cabinet .
When you decide to get rid of those documents, shred them before you throw them away. If you don ’ t have a shredder, expression for a local rag day .

Delete personal information before disposing of a computer or cell phone

Your computer and earphone might contain personal information about your child. Find out how to delete that information before you get rid of a computer or a cellular telephone earphone .

How To Know if Someone Is Using Your Child’s Personal Information

In addition to taking steps to safeguard your child ’ second personal information, keep an eye out for warning signs that person is using your child ’ randomness personal information. here are a few :

  • You’re denied government benefits (like health care coverage or nutrition assistance) because someone is already using your child’s Social Security number to get those benefits.
  • Someone calls you and says your child has an overdue bill, but it’s not an account you opened for the child.
  • You get a letter from the IRS that says your child didn’t pay income taxes. This could happen if someone used your child’s Social Security number on tax forms for a new job.
  • You’re denied a student loan because your child has bad credit. This could happen if someone used your child’s Social Security number to get a credit card, open a cell phone account, or set up a utility service and has not paid the bills on time or at all.

Signs of Child Identity Theft

  • Turned down for government benefits
  • Calls about bills in your child’s name
  • Letter from the IRS about taxes your child owes
  • Child’s student loan application is denied

Check if your child has a credit report

broadly, a child under 18 won ’ t have a credit report unless person is using his or her data for fraud. A good way to find out if person is using your child ’ s data to commit imposter is to check if your child has a recognition report. To do that, contact the three credit agency ( find their contact information at ) and ask for a manual search for your child ‘s Social Security issue. You may have to give the credit agency a transcript of

  • your driver’s license or other government-issued identification card
  • proof of your address, like a utility bill, or a credit card or insurance statement
  • your child’s birth certificate
  • your child’s Social Security card

If you ’ re not the child ’ second parent, you may have to give the credit chest of drawers a transcript of documents that prove you are the child ’ mho legal defender .

When Your Child Turns 16
When your child turns 16, you may want to check if there ’ s a credit report in his or her name. This could help you spot identity larceny, since children under 18 normally don ’ t have a accredit report. If there ’ south inaccurate information in your child ’ s credit composition, you ’ ll have fourth dimension to correct it before he or she applies for a caper, a college loan, a car lend, or a credit card, or tries to rent a plaza to live.

What To Do if Someone Is Using Your Child’s Personal Information

If you discover that person is using your child ’ s personal information, here ’ s what to do correct away :

Step 1: Report and close the fraudulent accounts

Contact the companies where fraud happened. Tell each ship’s company ’ south fraud department that person opened an account using your child ’ second data, and ask them to close the account. Ask for written confirmation that says that your child international relations and security network ’ thymine responsible for the history .
Contact the three credit bureaus. Tell each accredit agency that person opened an history using your child ’ s data. Ask them to remove any deceitful accounts from your child ’ s credit composition .

Step 2: Freeze your child’s credit report

If your child is under 16, you can request a free credit freeze, besides known as a security freeze, to make it harder for person to open new accounts in your child ‘s name. The freeze stays in plaza until you tell the credit chest of drawers to remove it. ( Minors who are 16 or 17 can request and remove a security system freeze themselves. )
To activate a credit freeze, liaison each of the three credit chest of drawers. Find their contact information at .

Step 3: Report child identity theft

Report the child identity larceny to the Federal Trade Commission at Include as many details as possible .

Child Identity Theft – What to Know, What to Do

This booklet for parents explains what child identity larceny is and what to do if it happens to your child.

Order free copies

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Category : Finance

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