Child Identity Theft: 3 Things to look for

In the past few years, the number of identity theft protection companies offering you their services have been steadily rising, and with good reason.  Criminals are becoming more confident at stealing your hard earned money without the risk of confrontation.  They no longer have to pick your pocket, look over your shoulder at the ATM, or even break in to your house or car.  They have a variety of methods to get your personal information and either access your bank account or use your credit.

The good news is that the number of victims have decreased from 2009 to 2011.  According to reports from Javelin Strategy & Research, the number of victims fell from around 11 million in 2009 to 8.1 million in 2011.  The main reasons are that people are more aware of protecting their personal information by changing their own habits or by using identity theft protection companies such as IdentityHawk.

Child Identity Theft
Unfortunately, children make a tempting target for identity thieves because parents usually do not pick up on it for years.  Parents never check their child’s credit because they don’t ever use it.  However, child identity theft does happen and here are 3 things to watch out for:

  1. Suspicious mail (pre-approved credit cards, etc.) that is addressed to your child.
  2. Financial accounts (bank accounts, etc.) already exist when you go to open one for them.
  3. A credit report exists for your child.  An application for credit, a credit account, or a public record will start the compilation fo a consumer credit file.

 

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