ATLANTA - We hear a lot about identity theft. But there is one form of ID theft that you might not find out about for years.
Children are easy marks for identity theft because they won't know about it for years - maybe 18 years. That's a long time for someone to trash another innocent person's good name.
As soon as children receives a social security number, they are at risk of being a victim. Protect their number like it's your own.
Don't carry around your child's social security card. Keep it in a safe place. And better yet, stop giving it out. How can you do that? Courtney Smith, the vice president of community development lending at PNC, explains.
"Be mindful who you share it with. A lot of schools (request it), And, f you go to a pediatrician, and other organizations request social security numbers, opt out if possible or only offer the last four digits of their social security number," he said.
WARNING SIGNS YOUR CHILD'S ID HAS BEEN STOLEN
- CHILD GETS COLLECTIONS CALLS
- MINOR RECEIVES BILLS
- IRS ALERTS YOU
Now don't assume strangers are the only ones who might have access to your child's ID. Too often it's stolen by someone they know. like a sitter, an ex-husband or ex-wife. Even another sibling or relative is a too frequent culprit, so know you're network.
If your child has become a victim, take action by reaching out to the top three credit reporting agencies.
Place a security freeze on your child's credit to block unauthorized use of your child's social security number. And file a police report so that you can have it for the permanent record.
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