Parents Beware: Kids Suffer ID Theft, Too

posted by Jennie James -

Computer hacker stealing data from a laptop

Research shows that one million kids' identities were stolen in 2017.  That's mind-blowing, but not surprising.  Think about it: your child is a blank slate and identity thieves are slobbering over themselves to get their hands on things like that.

The scary thing is you may not find out for YEARS!  Once your child grows up and finds out they were a victim, that thief could have done so much damage that it becomes a huge headache of time, money, stress, etc to fix.

So how, as a parent, can you prevent it?

Check your child's credit report to see if any items are associated with his or her Social Security number. None should be.

Freeze the child's report until he or she is old enough to apply for credit.

Secure your child's Social Security number, keeping tax forms locked away and statements for, say, college accounts in secured files.

Report any inaccuracies on the child's file immediately and file a police report, if necessary. It's understandable that you may not want to recognize the larcenous nature of your new romantic partner, but he or she could be ruining your child's future chance at buying a house or car, or getting a credit card.

Be vigilant. The earlier fraud is detected, the easier it is to solve. Indeed, for the vast majority of child victims, proving that they didn't take out the loan that appears on their credit report is as easy as showing the credit bureau the child's birth certificate. Remember, if that fraud isn't discovered until the child is older, fixing the record can be a nightmare.

(CBSNews) Photo: Getty

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