by Mike Murphy
Crimes like identity theft are becoming increasingly frequent.
ID theft involves groups getting access to vital details.
These details include getting your social security number, credit card information and even your driver’s license info.
If done correctly, the thief will be challenging for authorities to catch, leaving you with a financial mess to clean-up. While everyone can be a target, children are at particularly high-risk for these types of offenders.
Kids are at high-risk because it will often be many years before they spot these issues, by which time the thief would be long gone.
For many parents, this is a terrifying prospect to face.
Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to protect against child identity theft. Here are a few of them.
A credit freeze makes it very difficult for financial institutions to access details like your credit history. Without this information, they won’t be able to open an account in your name.
Because it restricts the actions that the thief can undertake, a credit freeze is one of the most effective ways to reduce identity theft and give your kid the protection they need.
If your child is under 16, you can request a credit freeze on their accounts. Children over the age of 16 can still get a credit freeze; they have to ask for it themselves.
To request a credit freeze, you will usually need to send a range of documents to the big credit bureaus.
The materials that you will need to send can include things like; birth certificates for both you and your child, social security numbers for both the child and the parent, and a copy of a driver’s license.
Usually, the specific documents that each company will need will vary.
Once you have this information, you can fill in the forms requesting the credit squeeze. Then, you can mail them to the credit company.
Finally, once the freeze is approved, you will get a letter back containing a confirmation of the freeze.
You will also receive a PIN. When kids are old enough, they can use this number to unfreeze their accounts.
Remain Vigilant to Keep Protecting
There might be several signs that your child’s identity has been stolen.
It’s prudent that you stay on the lookout for the warning signs of child identity theft.
For instance, you might spot things like credit notices arriving in your child’s name.
Most children won’t have any reason for these notices to be sent, as they won’t have access to things like loans or credit cards.
Another common warning signing might be debt collection agencies trying to collect debts on your children.
Also, some thieves might try to create false health insurance claims using your child’s information. If they can do this, they will be able to make money from the payouts that they receive.
When you encounter these types of situations, it’s essential to act quickly.
You should get in touch with the agency and try to get to the bottom of the state of affairs. You might also want to contact your bank and the police.
By taking these actions as quickly as possible, you will be able to stop the thief before they can create an even bigger financial problem for you.
Protect Your Child’s Important Information
To create these health insurance claims, the thief needs to get access to your child’s information. For this reason, you should always make sure to safeguard this data as carefully as possible.
Such precautions can include doing things like locking essential documents such as birth certificates and social security numbers in a fireproof safe. Placing such papers in a fireproof safe will ensure that you are protected, even if your house gets robbed.
Also, you should be careful about who you provide this information to.
For example, you should not give information like social security numbers away until you are satisfied that you know how it will be used and how it will be kept safe.
While this can be difficult when using online resources, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself.
First, you should stick to sites that have a strong reputation.
If you come across a less well-known site, do some research before you give them relevant information.
For example, you should make sure that the site is secure and that they have reliable protection protocols in place to make sure that your data will be kept safe.
Teach Your Children About Online Safety
While you might be vigilant about your online safety, children might not understand some of the online protocols that they should follow.
For example, you should make sure that they know the dangers of clicking on unsafe links.
Such sites can give thieves access to your computer systems, where they can take valuable information. Also, you should make sure to monitor the kind of relationships that your children are forming online.
Some thieves might pose as other children to try to gain access to critical information, which they can use to create fake accounts.
There are multiple online resources that you can use to make sure that your children are kept safe from these kinds of manipulative people.
For example, you should make sure to educate them about the types of information that they shouldn’t be sharing, such as their date of birth.
Finally, it would be best if you kept an eye on any bank accounts that your child has. Or any other financial transactions in his or her name.
This gives your child better identity theft protection and it will give you more peace-of-mind.
Doing so will alert you to any unexpected withdrawals. Such with drawls can indicate thieves have gained access to your child’s bank account.
It can also show if your child is sending money to other people.
Sadly, children can often become targets of identity theft. They can create a range of false accounts in your child’s name, causing massive financial damage.
Usually, the damage caused will only be revealed when your child is old enough to open a legitimate account. This situation can create a lot of stress and tension for parents.
Thankfully, we looked at some simple things that you can do to protect your child from identity theft.
So, use these ideas to make sure that your family is safe.