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5 Tips For Preventing Child Identity Theft-crycry

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Think your child isnt at risk of becoming yet another victim of identity theft? Think again. The FTC estimates that over 140,000 children are victims of identity theft every year, and the Carnegie Mellon University CyLab Child ID Theft Report showed that children are 51 times more likely to experience identity theft than adults. Preventing child identity theft can be difficult because kids are easier targets than adults. Their Social Security numbers are unused so its easier to associate different names and birth dates with them. Their identities are typically a blank slate and the likelihood of discovery is low since most parents dont monitor their childrens identities. The crime can go unnoticed for many years, often until they try to open a bank account or apply for a drivers license, job, student loan, or credit as a young adult. By then their identity could have been stolen and sold multiple times by thieves using it to obtain credit cards, insurance, medical services, employment, housing, passports, government benefits, and loans. The list goes on and on. Safeguarding your child from identity theft begins with recognizing the signs, such as receiving unsolicited credit card offers or bills in his or her name. Here are five tips for preventing child identity theft: 1.Dont disclose Social Security numbers. Your childs Social Security number is the most important piece of personal information to protect. If an organization requests your childs Social Security number, ask how it will be used and how it will be protected. As the prevalence of identity theft has grown, providing a Social Security number is typically not required unless there are tax implications. 2.Request your childs credit report. The credit reporting agencies dont keep credit reports for minors because they arent allowed to open lines of credit. If your child has a credit report, you know identity theft has been committed. 3.Get a crosscut shredder and put it to work. Shred all documents you receive in the mail that contain your childs personal information. Remember that mail such as unsolicited credit card offers are indicators of child identity theft, so shred these documents right away. (Dont forget to do this for yourself as well.) Then contact the credit bureaus to see if theres a credit file in your childs name. 4.Dont carry around your childs Social Security number. Preventing child identity theft also includes locking up his or her Social Security number with other important personal identity records such as birth certificates and passports, and only access it when you absolutely need it. Locking up all private information is generally a good idea to prevent houseguests or babysitters from viewing it. 5.Monitor your childs social networking accounts. Identity thieves troll social networking websites, so make sure private information like date of birth, address, and names of family members are not included in profiles. Its also a good idea to set privacy settings so your childs profile can only be viewed by friends and family. In addition to these do-it-yourself precautions, you can start proactively preventing child identity theft by relying on a trusted company like Entrust America. Entrust America will protect you and your family from all forms of identity theft, and is the only company with a proprietary partnership with law enforcement nationwide to recover identities and ensure you get back to pre-theft status. Learn more about preventing child identity theft by visiting www.TheIdentityAdvocate.com or calling 310.831.4400. About the Author: Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., is an identity theft, medical identity theft, and healthcare fraud prevention expert specializing in medical consulting and investigations. She is the president of The Identity Advocate, which teaches corporations, professional practices, and consumers how to stop identity theft, medical identity theft, and healthcare fraud. Visit www.TheIdentityAdvocate.com or call 310.831.4400. Article Published On: ..articlesnatch.. – Identity-Theft 相关的主题文章: