A child’s clean credit is a prime target for identity thieves. Criminals can pair a child’s Social Security number to another name and birth date and then rack up debt, get ID so they can work illegally or cover up their own bad credit history. In a 2011 study by the Carnegie Mellon University CyLab, 10.2 percent of the 40,000 kids studied were victims.
Identity theft can hurt a child’s financial future in many ways. Here are some things you can do to help reduce your child’s chances of becoming a victim:
1. Take Control of Your Child’s Information
As a parent, you should be the gatekeeper for information about your child. A Federal Trade Commission report says sensitive information includes your child’s Social Security number, date of birth and birth certificate. If someone is asking for that info, the FTC says you should find out everything you can before handing it over.
It’s also a good idea to keep important documents – like your child’s birth certificate and Social Security card – in a safe.
2. Monitor Your Child’s Online Activity
The FTC says you should keep tabs on your children’s interactions on social media and other websites. Make sure they know that certain information should not be given to anyone — on the Internet, on the phone or in person.
If you do need to provide information on a website, to minimize the risk of identity theft, you should make sure the website is secure, beginning with “https,” and only do so on a private computer with updated firewall and anti-virus protection.
3. Know the Warning Signs
One of the reasons child identity theft is so attractive to criminals is that kids usually don’t try to use their credit until they are much older, providing years to ruin the victim’s future. The FTC says parents should watch out for any mail coming in their children’s names, especially preapproved credit card offers, as well as phone calls from collection agencies.
Another tipoff can be that the Internal Revenue Service contacts you to confirm your child’s employment or says the child failed to pay income taxes. When the IRS comes calling for your 2-year-old, you know it’s a problem.
4. Take Action
If you suspect your child is the victim of identity theft, authorities say you should alert the three major credit reporting agencies, and consider putting an initial fraud alert or a credit freeze on the credit file. You can also file a complaint with the FTC.
It’s also a good idea to consider getting identity restoration coverage, which can help to prevent identity theft and help you or your child recover if it does. In a world where your credit can open doors or slam them in your face, you want to make sure your children have all the opportunities they deserve by protecting that all-important credit score from identity thieves.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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