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Prevent Child Identity Theft

Identity theft is a commonly discussed topic for adults, and most know they can monitor their credit reports and receive fraud warnings when someone is attempting to use one of their accounts.

However, child identity theft is something most people don’t think about, but it can happen to anyone just as easily. Because parents and guardians don’t have open credit reports for their children, they don’t expect to need to check on any possible fraud.

Identity thieves can use a child’s identity to get a job, obtain government benefits, medical care and other financial loans.

How to Prevent It

You can help prevent child identity theft by safely storing all documents with your child’s personal information. This includes their date of birth, Social Security number and birth certificate.

Only share their personal information with people you trust, and when entering it online, make sure you are using a secure internet connection. Also check with your child’s school to see who has access to their personal information. Openly discuss with your child the importance of keeping personal information safe.

Properly dispose of all materials that contain your child’s personal information. Shred letters, forms and other papers that include this information. You should also permanently delete this information off any electronic devices before getting rid of them. Treat the safety of their personal information just as you would your own.

Learn more about child identity theft and how to spot it. (PDF)