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 (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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