Child Identity Theft is on the rise
Its happening more and more. I am seeing some of it too in new clients. A high school kid applies for his or her first credit card and is declined because of too many prior delinquencies on his credit. The problem with this situation is that my client is applying for his FIRST credit card…ever. After he gets a copy of his credit report, he discovers that his identity has been stolen.
I have done some research into this issue and have learned that identity thieves are stealing young childrens’ identities; especially infants and newborns. Because these kids have no issues on their credit, their social security numbers are considered pristine and allow identity thieves to start over without having to “bother” with bankruptcy.
I have also come to learn that in many cases, the identity thief knows the children and, unfortunately, is frequently related to him. This makes sense since children usually do not have credit card receipts laying around nor personally identifiable information that would allow a dumpster diving identity thief to procure such information. As a concerned parent, here is what I recommend you do. My advice to you protecting your kids’ identities is not different than that advice that I offer you in protecting your own identity.
First, go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com and pull your kid’s credit report, if he has one. If your kid’s identity has not been stolen or used, then it may be moot as this website will not have anything on your kid. That would be a very good thing.
Second, check out the mail that comes to the house. If anything is addressed to your child that does not appear to be something appropriate, open it up and look at it. If its a bill, an invoice or even a solicitation of some sort, your child’ identity may have been stolen.
Finally, if your kid’s identity has been stolen, make a police report immediately. Then, pull your kid’s credit report and posit a dispute with each of the credit reporting agencies.
For more information including videos on how to protect and defend your credit report, visit our website at www.micreditlyawer.com. You have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but you also must act to enforce those rights.
If you have been victimized by a debt collector or have items on your credit report that are incorrect, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882. For more information about your credit rights as a consumer, visit our blog at www.micreditlawyer.com/blog. Visit our website at www.micreditlawyer.com.