Monday, August 31, 2009

How to Prevent Child Identity Theft

Tips provided by TrustedID.

1) Shred all documents that contain your child’s personal information before throwing them out.

2) Keep personal information in a secure area in your home.

3) Monitor incoming mail in your child’s name. Marketing letters, pre-approved credit card offers or even debt collection notices may not be random consumer mailing – these could be red flags that your child’s identity is being misused.

4) Teach your children not to give out personal information without your permission, and to be careful about publishing information about themselves online.

5) Teach your kids to play games only from trusted sources, and to ask your permission before downloading free software.

6) Try requesting your child’s credit report. You should be told that no such report exists yet, but if you do receive a report, take that as a sign that someone has tried to apply for credit using your child’s Social security number, and follow up accordingly. If your child does have a credit report, request a Minor Alert which works like a credit freeze, stopping any third party from getting access to your child’s credit report.

7) Do not carry your child’s Social Security number in your wallet. If necessary, make a photocopy of the card and cut off the last four numbers.

8) Be careful with whom you share your child’s personal information. For example, if your child’s after school sports program requires a copy of a birth certificate and/or Social Security card, ask if the coach has had a criminal and financial background check done by an independent or hiring source. Show the papers to the coach and then put them in a sealed envelope, and write your name across the sealed flap so you can tell if it has been opened when it is returned to you. Initial the back of each page so you can tell if you got the original back at the end of the season. Ask where these papers will be stored during the season.

1 comment:

Jamaican mommy said...

Great Post Paula.. Another reason why I stalk (lol) your blog so much. Many persons tend to speak a lot about identity theft (for adults) but somehow we tend to overlook the fact that children's identities can just as easily (or easier)be stolen. Thanks for posting this. Maybe you should be a guest blogger on my site one of these days :-)

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