Children and Identity Theft
by Joanne Coley
Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft
4 Tips to Guard Your Social Security Number
Protecting Your Child's Identity
Five-year-old children now work adult paying jobs. Fifteen year olds now own and run businesses. Or so it appears. It does appear that young children and teens are working, running businesses, racking up credit card charges and utility payments as well as buying cars and their parents don't know about it. These children and teens could be targets of identity theft.
It can take years to detect evidence of stealing a child's identity. Many children don't know they have been victimized until they attempt to rent an apartment or obtain credit. While some have even been victimized by a parent, others have been victimized by unknown identity theft predators through a variety of means.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. No one is immune: children, teens, the elderly and deceased. Although there are no guarantees in preventing identity theft, parents should not ignore the warning signs:
- Pre-approved bank cards that arrive in the mail in the child or teen's name
- Financial and credit card statements that arrive in the mail in your child's name
- Collection agency letters or phone calls in your child's name
To protect your child from identity theft:
- Safeguard your child's social security number and other personal information such as date of birth. Never carry this important identification routinely in your pocketbook or wallet.
- Never routinely provide personal information. Always inquire why certain personal information is needed, who will handle the information, and how will the necessary personal information be safeguarded.
- Stress to your children and young teens the importance of not routinely providing their own personal information, including the Internet. If anyone asks about them about personal information, have your child or teen tell the requester that they must speak with their parent.
- Parents should check with all four credit bureaus to make sure their child or teen does not have a credit history when they should not have one.
Joanne Coley is a former Credit Analyst and currently a Writer, Public Relations and Marketing Consultant servicing the Philadelphia and surrounding area.
Take the Next Step
- Stop identity theft in its tracks - start your 7-day trial by purchasing a $1 credit report with Enrollment in Protectmyid.com
- Get a credit report from each of the credit bureaus Equifax; Experian; and Trans Union.
- Protect your families Social Security cards. Find a safe place for them.
- Talk to your children about the importance of keeping personal information private - especially on the internet!
- Get connected. Be encouraged.The Dollar Stretcher for Parents Ezine
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
Trending on TDS
- Get creative in the kitchen and save #TDSPantryChallenge
- 7 ways to keep college costs in check
- Home remedies for common winter ailments
- Buying and selling toys on craigslist
- Hiding debts from your spouse
- Is it possible to stay at home with your kids?
- Homemade cat food
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- January bargains in the supermarket and beyond
- Raising kids that launch Video
- 8 tips to successfully work from home
- Best places to sell 8 popular household items
- 5 dumb ways to spend money on your kids
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator