Are Your Children Safe From Identity Theft?
Child Identity Theft is on the rise. Children
Because “that child is not going to enter the credit world for at least 13 years, a thief can keep that social security number going for years before someone is going to look at it” says John Kerbs, the Identity Theft Program Manager at the FTC.
More than 1 million children were victims of identity theft and fraud last year alone. It’s up to you, their parents, loved ones, and guardians, to protect your children’s identities while they can’t. Our team has compiled some of the best tips on how to protect your child’s identity. In this blog, you will learn..
How to know if your child’s identity has been stolen
The steps needed to regain your child’s identity if stolen
And, overall, how to keep your children safe from identity theft criminals.
Know the warning signs
There are a few different ways a parent or guardian can learn of a potential identity theft situation. The best thing you can do is to be vigilant about the notices you receive in the mail – read everything. Some of the main ways you can find out if your children’s identity has already been compromised are…
Turned down from government benefits. The benefits could be going to someone that has obtained your child’s Social Security number and personal information.
Notice of nonpayment of income taxes. If you receive a notice that your child did not pay income taxes or any other type of taxes, it means that your child’s Social Security Number was used on someone else’s tax return forms.
Collection calls and bills. Receiving calls about products or services you or your child did not receive or order could be an indicator of identity theft.
You may be asking – how can this happen so easily? The framework of our Social Security system is to blame.
Social Security Numbers are unique to you. The government determines your number this by the date that the number was issued not by date of birth. This process makes it impossible to tell if the number belongs to a child or to an adult. The Social Security number brakes down into 3 indicating categories.
- The first three numbers of the SSN indicates where it was issued.
- The second two numbers indicate the particular batch of SSNs given during a period of time.
- The last four numbers are a unique SSN pin.
Regaining your child’s identity
If you think that your child’s identity has been compromised, you can check their credit by contacting all three of the major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. When you contact them, you will want to ask for a manual search of your child’s file. In order to do this, the bureau may require:
The child’s birth/adoption certificate
The child’s Social Security card
The parent/guardian’s government-issued identification card as well as documents proving the legal guardianship of the child
Proof of address
Once provided, the credit bureau searches
If your child’s identity was in fact compromised, you can repair the damage of the identity theft by:
Contact the companies where your child’s information was used. Ask to speak to the fraud department to report the fraud. They may ask for things to confirm your child’s identity such as a birth certificate.
Contacting credit bureaus. Ask the bureaus to clear your child’s credit report of all fraudulent activity and accounts.
Freeze your child’s credit until they are older. This restricts access to your child’s credit files, making it harder for thieves to open.
Report the theft to the FTC. You can do this by going to their website.
Protecting your child from further identity theft
Once you have regained your child’s identity, there are a few ways you can ensure their identity does not make it into the wrong hands again. These ways are:
Keep all of your children’s files in a safe and secure location.
Don’t share any personal identifying information with people or businesses you don’t trust.
Shed all documents containing your child’s personal information
Be wary of any events that may put your child’s identity at risk – ex – a break in to your home or a data breach at your child’s school
Sign up for an identity theft protection and prevention plan
At American Identity Group, we are passionate about protecting your entire family. That is why we have created a identity theft prevention family plan. American Identity Group does 24/7 checks and identity monitoring to ensure that you and your family members are safe and secure. We will send you instant alerts to any possible identity breaches or threats.
American Identity Group will help if your identity is every compromised. They will match you with an identity recovery specialist. The recovery specialist works with you to restore your identity to how it was before the breach. American Identity Group reimburses all funds that were compromised during the breach.
Let American Identity Group give you some peace of mind. Visit our website today to discover more information about our family plans.
Have any questions? Please call us at 855-200-6788.