Identity Theft: Are Your Children at Risk?

For the most part, we all know to keep our personal information as safe as possible, to shred items containing personal information and to not give out personal without verifying the source (for example, don’t click on random links and enter personal information or give it out via a phone call). 

But what you may not have known is that children as just as vulnerable to identity theft as adults are. Money Girl recently posted this article, penned by Laura Adams, on keeping children safe from identity theft. 

Here is a snippet … click here to read the full article.

Did you know that children are over 50 times more likely to become victims of identity theft than adults? Most parents don’t find out that their child is a victim until he or she tries to get a driver’s license, mobile phone, or gets turned down for a job or financial aid.

By then, it’s difficult to clear a sabotaged credit report, mountains of debt, or even a criminal record that’s existed for many years in your child’s name.

Though you can’t completely protect children from identity theft, here are five tips to help keep them safe:

  1. Don’t disclose your child’s Social Security (SS) number. Many organizations ask for a child’s SS number, but they don’t really need it. Find out whether giving the number is absolutely necessary to receive services—plus, how the organization will use and protect it. 

  2. Keep your child’s identity documents safe. Put confidential documents like birth certificates, passports, and Wills in a bank safe deposit box or fire-proof safe. Stolen documents are a common way that thieves get the data to assume kids’ identities.

  3. Watch for mail addressed to your child. Receiving preapproved credit card offers, insurance offers, or other mail in your child’s name is a signal that credit accounts have probably been opened in their name.

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