Protect Your Child's ID

It's hard to believe, but the new trend in identity theft has to do with your children. Thieves are using the Social Security numbers of infants and young children. Your child's financial future can be ruined before they even learn to walk. There are some things that may alert you, as well as some steps that you can take to prevent this from happening to you.

It's important that you take action on any suspicious activity. It could be disastrous if a stolen identity is not discovered until your son or daughter needs credit. Many years can pass until you find out that someone else has been abusing your child's credit and if you don't catch it right away it can be a nightmare.

If your child is receiving any mail from creditors or collection agencies you should be suspicious. They may also receive credit report information or even tax papers. If you suspect that something is wrong, contact the credit reporting agencies. You will have to provide them with any pertinent information that is requested. You should then receive a response in regards to your child's credit.

There may be some times that you do get mail with your child's name on it. This can happen if you have accounts open in your child's name. It's not unusual for creditors to get lists from banks that may contain your child's name. It never hurts though to be cautious and still make sure there is not suspicious activity involving your child's information.

You will want to take the same precautions with your child's identity that you use with your own.

You don't want to carry around their Social Security card. Make sure that it’s stored in a secure place. You will also want to shred any papers that contain their Social Security number once you have no more use for them. Make sure you inform your older kids to not give out any of that information to anyone, especially on the Internet. They also want to avoid posting any other private information like phone number, address, or full name.

If you do have accounts in your child's name make sure that you are the only one that has access to them and request that a photo ID be shown to receive any information. You can also set up passwords to help insure your security.

If you have the feeling that your child's identity has been stolen it is important that you get a hold of the FTC and file a complaint right away. You can file a complaint online at or by calling 1-877-438-4338.

Pioneer Credit Counseling is a bonded, non-profit credit counseling agency offering debt management programs, financial counseling, bankruptcy counseling and housing counseling nationwide. Call our friendly counselors today at 800-888-1596 or visit

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