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Child ID Theft

Child Identity Theft

Most people are familiar with identity theft, a crime in which someone uses your name, social security number, and other personal information to run up credit card bills, empty your bank account, or even commit other crimes. Many citizens have even taken steps to protect themselves from identity theft—shredding credit card bills, not carrying their Social Security card, etc.

But parents may also need to protect their children from identity thieves as well as themselves.

Children are increasingly becoming popular targets of identity thieves. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 500,000 children had their identities stolen in 2005. Identity thieves target children because the kids’ information is frequently readily available and useful for many years. Since the crimes usually aren't uncovered until the victims try to establish credit, they can go undetected for years.

Tips to Avoid Child ID Theft

bulletLimit access to your child’s Social Security number by not providing it on sports team sign-ups and other non-essential forms
bulletShred all papers that contain account or Social Security numbers
bulletDo not carry your child’s Social Security card or number in your wallet
bulletCollege students should ask their school not to use their SSN as their college ID number
bulletSocial Security numbers should never be given out over the phone or on the Internet.
bulletObserve the mail. If bills, statements or credit card offers begin arriving in your child’s name, call the credit reporting bureaus to check on his or her credit record. There should be none.

For more information on how to protect your child and what to do if your child has been a victim, visit

Source:  and .


August 26, 2008



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