Many of us have heard the warnings about identity theft. But, did you know that your children can fall victim to identity theft too?
Recent statistics show that it happens. Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab found that 10.2 percent of 40,000 children involved in a 2011 study were victims of identity theft.
Childhood identity theft can have devastating long-term financial implications. It can affect a child’s ability to take out a student loan, receive a scholarship or get a credit card. Identity theft may even impact future job opportunities.
How do you know if your child’s identity has been stolen? Be vigilant about protecting your child’s identity, and watch for the following red flags:
Identity protection for your child starts with some privacy precautions. Here are some tips that may help reduce your child’s risk for identity theft:
If you find out that someone has stolen your child’s identity, there are some steps you can take to minimize the damage. If you discovered that a credit report (fraudulently) exists for your child, contact any one of the three major credit bureaus (that bureau is legally required to alert the other two) and ask them to put a “fraud alert” on the file. Report the identity theft to the FTC. Also, contact your local police department to file a report.
By taking a few simple proactive steps, and staying alert to early warning signs, you can minimize your child’s risk for identity theft or the impact it will have should it ever occur.
What concerns you most about someone’s stealing your child’s identity? Share your thoughts below.