I recently read an article on The Lehigh Valley Parenting Blog about children being the latest target of identity theft.  According to a new AP report, the newest form of identity theft is using children’s social security numbers to establish phony credit that the children are not even aware of until years later when it’s too late.

The report said that online businesses are using computers to find “dormant” social security numbers, ones that are not actively seeking credit.  These numbers are then sold to thieves who use them to establish phony credit and incur huge debts.

There are ways to help protect your innocent child’s identity, as written on The Lehigh Valley Parenting Blog:

1. Request a free copy of your child’s credit report here.  You shouldn’t be able to get one.  If something is there, investigate.  If your child is under age 13, you will have to request a copy in writing.  Find instructions here.

2. You also can request a free work history for your child’s social security number here.  Again there should be nothing on file.

3. Don’t give out your child’s social security number.  If you open a savings account, open it under your own social security number and make your child as the account holder.  Don’t give your child’s social security number to a school.  According to the PA Department of Education, a public school or charter school can’t require a child’s social security number for enrollment.

4. Check your child’s mail.  If he starts getting unusual items such as credit card applications or collection notices, there may be something wrong.

5. Don’t post personal information about your child on family web sites, Facebook pages or anywhere online.  Educate your child about being safe online and not giving out any personal information.

If you think someone has stolen your child’s identity, check with one of the credit bureaus ExperianTransUnion, or Equifax, and alert police.

Do you have any other tips to help prevent this latest threat to our children?


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