Child identity theft is a growing problem.
Identity thieves target children’s Social Security numbers because they have no credit blemishes and because their fraudulent activity may go unchecked for years.
Possible red flags that your child is a victim of identity theft are when you receive bills, credit card offers, or debt collection calls in your child’s name.
If your children already have credit reports in their names, one of three things has happened:
- You have applied for credit in their names and the applications were approved;
- You have added them as authorized users or joint account holders on one or more of your accounts; or
- Someone has fraudulently used their information to apply for credit and they are already identity theft victims.
Know that credit reports are not established at a certain age.
It is okay for your child not to have a credit report before age 18 – whenever they decide to utilize credit responsibly.
However, what follows are steps to take if you are concerned about child’s personal information may have been compromised and steps to take if a credit report exists in their name without authorization.
If you believe your child is a victim of identity theft, you can contact the nationwide credit reporting companies using the info. below:
Equifax Minor Child Department
P.O. Box 105139
Atlanta, GA 30348
Or by phone: 800-525-6285
Experian: Download this form and mail it to:
P.O. Box 9554,
Allen, TX 75013
Or by phone: 800-397-3742
TransUnion: Download this form and mail it to:
P.O. Box 6790,
Fullerton, CA 92834
Or by phone: 800-680-7289
Know that you can, in fact, freeze a child’s file – if a file exists. But again, it shouldn’t.
If you discover you child has been a victim of identity theft, have questions about credit reports, or just want to talk money – we’re here. 888-258-2227 or cccs@LssSD.org
For information on freezing the credit report (aka file) for your child, visit: