Identity Theft and Children

Children Can Also be Susceptible to Identity Theft

Many of us are aware of the preventative measures to take in order to reduce our own risk of identity theft, but we often forget to consider that our children can also become the victims of identity theft as well. Identity thieves are looking for social security numbers from anyone, not just adults. If your child’s social security number is stolen, he or she can become the victim of identity theft. Make sure they’re not left to deal with this problem on their own.

Protecting Your Children’s Identity

Now that you are aware of the potential for children to become victims of identity theft, you should take precautions to avoid the possibility. You need to guard your children’s social security numbers much as you would your own. Don’t give the information to anyone unnecessarily. Just because a company or individual asks for the social security number, do not assume that you are necessarily obligated to provide it. The summer camp your child is attending hardly needs your child’s social security number and while your child’s school may need it, the local rec. center can certainly live without it. A good rule of thumb to follow is that when you are filling out forms simply leave the social security number blank and then see if the company follows up. You might be surprised to know that they usually don’t.

Credit Reports Aren’t Just For Adults

You should have credit reports run for your children every few years. This way you can closely monitor their credit history and will be able to report any suspicious activity in a timely manner. Running routine credit reports can save you a lot of aggravation in the long run. Imagine your child graduating from high school and discovering that his or her credit history is destroyed because he or she was the victim of identity theft ten years ago. It would be difficult to attempt to fix the situation and an awful realization for a new graduate. Repairing a credit history damaged by identity theft is literally a full-time job. Victims of identity theft are met with resistance every step of the way.

Take precautions now to ensure that your children maintain a perfect credit history. Guard their social security numbers and run credit reports regularly. Don’t have them suffer as young adults because they were the victims of identity theft years prior.

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