No credit history? No credit report? No problem! Right?
Children have no credit history or credit report and they are becoming a victim of identity theft! Children are so vulnerable and their personal information is even more valuable – especially their Social Security Numbers.
This is where identity thieves are getting the opportunity to establish themselves in this world. They are taking a child’s Social Security Number and using it for their own purposes. They may even use it to get a loan, a job, drain your bank account, or make charges on your credit card.
Last year 2.5 percent of U.S. households with children under the age of 18 became a victim of child identity theft! That is about 13.1 million victims in 2013!
How do you know if your child is a victim?
You may be turned down for government benefits
You may receive notices from the IRS that are for your child
You could even get collection calls or bills intended for the child
Here are some ways you can prevent your child from falling victim to identity theft:
Know who has access to your child’s social security number.
Pay attention to forms you get from the school.
Know how your child’s information will be used and who it is going to be shared with.
Verify that records are kept in a secure location.
If you believe that your child may be a victim of child identity theft take the time and check the child’s credit report. This is going to be the first step in seeing what the damages are. The next step would be to place a call to 3 credit reporting companies and those are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Send fraud reports and alerts to these fraud reporting companies. Then you are going to want to send letters to all companies where your child’s social security number was used and tell them to remove all accounts, inquires and collection notices associated with the child’s name or personal information.