Why You Should Protect Your Child’s Identity From Thieves Today
Your children carry a blank slate of credit history. That’s a prime grab for identity thieves. They can create and manipulate a credit persona for years undetected.
An NBCNews.com report recently revealed that 1 million American kids had their ID stolen in 2017. The result: $2.67 billion in damages, according to the story. Two-thirds of those victims were younger than 8.
Why are ID thieves targeting kids’ data – and how are they doing it?
Hackers can buy a social security number for as little as $2 on the dark web. Users on the dark web remain anonymous by using special masking software. With a social security number, they can create synthetic identities.
Synthetic identity theft is a type of fraud in which a criminal combines real (usually stolen) and fake information to create a new identity, which is used to open fraudulent accounts and make fraudulent purchases.
With a synthetic identity, thieves can build credit in as little as 30 days. As they cultivate a credit history, they can apply for:
- Credit cards
- Government benefits
- Medical treatment
Who steals children’s identities?
According to the NBC News story, 60% of victims know their perpetrator. If you’re not monitoring their credit histories, it gives easy access for hackers to access them. Adults and close family members who are in financial hardship are prime candidates.
What are the warning signs someone has stolen my kid’s ID?
Often, you won’t know until a child is old enough to apply for government benefits or bank accounts – and is denied. Hackers usually divert mail and other correspondence to another physical and email address.
In case they haven’t, be on the lookout for these items in your child’s name:
- Collection calls
- Credit card offers
- IRS notices for income tax
How can I protect my child’s identity from thieves?
Take these precautions to safeguard sensitive data for your children.
DUE DILIGENCE | Keep in mind situations or incidents that could leave data vulnerable. These include:
- Access by an adult family member who needs a new start
- Break-ins at home or your child’s school
- Business data breaches
- Recent credit card losses or thefts
SAFE STORAGE | The best option: A fireproof lockbox. They’re ideal for birth certificates and social security cards. Also, use it to protect wills, marriages licenses and passports.
LIMITED SHARING | Camps, schools and other organizations might ask for social security numbers. Request a different means of identification. Ask if the last four digits of the social security number will suffice.
SHREDDING | Paper you don’t need that includes sensitive data should go right in the shredder. You can buy a household one, or bring it to a UPS Store for safe shredding.
SWEET 16 CHECKUP | Check your child’s credit report on their 16th birthday. That will leave time to correct discrepancies before they apply for college or car loans.
Is there a better way to protect my child’s ID?
You could contact credit bureaus and credit card companies that send mail in your child’s name. You could enact a credit freeze on your kid’s identity. Or, you could opt for the comprehensive identity theft protection from IDSeal.
With IDSeal, you can protect your entire family from identity theft. Plans include coverage for as many as 10 email addresses and 10 phone numbers – for you and your family members! We’ll watch activity on the dark web. We’ll check credit bureaus and other avenues hackers frequent.
We can watch over your kids’ social media accounts so you stay one step ahead of inappropriate behavior in an effort to prevent cyberbullying, profanity, weapons references and content of a sexually-explicit nature towards your child.
You can start the most comprehensive ID theft protection in the industry, today. Shop our PLANS and get protected!