According to the fraud Resource Center, 1.3 million children are victims of fraud annually . These records are stolen to open credit lines within the child’s name. Thousands, and even millions, of dollars, are usually stolen.
If you would like to avoid this, you ought to be taking steps to make sure your child doesn’t become a victim of fraud .
How you'll protect your child from fraud
Here’s what you ought to be doing to guard your child from identity theft:
Keep Your Child’s Social Security Number Private
You shouldn’t be giving out your child’s Social Security number to anyone, unless in fact necessary. In many cases, the child’s close relatives are the perpetrators. they need quick access to the amount , and nobody would think they might do the kid any harm.
Other than Social Security number, you ought to also keep birth certificates, tax returns and other personal and financial documents locked and out of sight. Don’t carry them with you. If you've got a document you would like to discard, don’t throw it away. Pass it through a shredder. Also, ask your child’s school regarding their policy on fraud prevention for minors.
Check if your child features a credit report
Your child shouldn’t have a credit report, because he hasn’t taken out any loan at now . But if he has one that’s a transparent indication that your child may be a victim of fraud . you'll request a credit report from any of the three credit reporting bureaus. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. you'll need to provide your child’s SSN number and your child’s name.
If you detect anything suspicious, you ought to immediately request a credit freeze.
Freeze their credit
This is the simplest thanks to avoid fraud . once you freeze credit, you or anybody else are going to be ready to remove any loan or establish a credit line. Your child doesn’t need a credit line or a loan, so it doesn’t affect your financial situation once you freeze their credit. If your child may be a minor, you'll roll in the hay on his behalf. you'll need to usher in documents to prove your relationship.
Recently, the Senate passed a bill that permits people to freeze and unfreeze their credit without having to pay a fee. this suggests it's freed from cost.
However, even after you freeze credit, thieves can still get free medical aid on your child’s name. they will also get employment , apply for state benefits and file taxes.
Monitor Online Activity
Regularly check your child’s devices. Check what quite personal or other information they need entered in their devices. Install an honest parental control software. If you're afraid your child could be a victim, consider installing an fraud protection service.
Always get on the alert. there's an increased chase of identity theft:
- After a burglary: If there has been a theft in your home, undergo personal documents too. Check if your child’s SSN number is stolen along side his iPad.
- Data Breach Notice: Schools and other businesses handling children are often victims of knowledge breaches. the aim is typically child fraud . If you get a notice of such a knowledge breach, review your child’s credit line.
- After hosting an enormous party, or during stay overs: In one-third of cases, child identity thefts are done by relatives and friends. Keep your documents locked and be extra vigilant when hosting big parties.
- Take Court Notices Seriously: If you receive a court notice in your child’s name, don’t throw it out. It probably isn’t sent by mistake. Or if you get an email from IRS telling you that your child has pending tax payments.
Talk To Your Child
Bring your child into the image . ask him about the risks of fraud . Education should start at an early age. a couple of belongings you should be discussing together with your child:
- Explain fraud , and what it’s consequences are. Bring the discussion down your child’s level. Use simple language.
- mention stranger danger. We also tell our youngsters to not ask strangers. But as discussed above, even relatives are often dangerous in some cases. Tell your child never to debate any personal information with anyone, before asking permission from parents. Don’t share SSN number together with your child. If you do, inform them why it must be kept private.
- Online Sharing. Extend the concept of stranger danger within the online world. It’s easier to convince a toddler to share personal information online. Keep a check on your child’s online activity. Regularly discuss the importance of not sharing personal information. Educate them on how they will detect red flags online.
If there has been fraud , you ought to report it immediately. File a report and undergo all the above-listed steps.