How to Protect Your Children from Identity Theft
Identity thieves who target children are something many of us haven’t thought of. But it’s a rapidly growing problem with far-reaching and long-lasting impact. By sharing insights and tips with you, we hope to help you better understand the threats and how you can help to protect your child.
According to industry experts, child ID theft grew by 300% in just one year. Children are prime targets, because they have no credit history, and the crimes can go undetected for years. Victims may eventually be denied a car loan, a credit card, or even a school loan.
What Do Thieves Do With Your Child’s Identity?
- Apply for government benefits such as Medicaid or welfare
- Access medical treatment
- Apply for loans
- Open credit cards or bank accounts
- Rent properties or
- Open accounts for utilities
Signs That Your Child’s ID Has Been Stolen
- Credit card or loan offers in the mail
- Rejected medical insurance claims
- Rejected tax returns on your part
- Delinquent payment or bill collection notices
How Can You Protect Your Child?
Teach social media and online safety, and practice it yourself, including:
- Accept friend requests only from people you know, verify friends’ identities, and do not “overshare.” Birthdates, school locations, and even pictures pose a risk.
- Skip the questionnaires. Those survey questions, such as mother’s maiden name, first street you lived on, or favorite pet’s name often are the same as account security questions.
- Lock down security and privacy features.
Question authority: Is your child’s Social Security number really necessary for the doctor’s paperwork or school forms?
Be proactive: Inquire with the credit agencies to see if your child has a credit report. The Federal Trade Commission advises that you ask for a manual search of your child’s Social Security number.
What if You Discover Your Child is a Victim?
Act immediately. IdentityTheft.gov offers a comprehensive checklist with the steps to take. These include filing a police report, even if the thief is a friend or loved one. Track every detail along the way: this includes who you contacted and when; the name of the representative you spoke to and what they said; and what forms or requests you submitted and when.
While there’s no way to guarantee that your child won’t fall victim to identity theft, these tips and steps can help you take action to protect them.
At Electric Insurance Company, we include Identity Fraud coverage and restoration services in our exceptional Premier Choice and Signature Choice™ homeowners policies. It does two important things: helps you recover costs you incur to correct issues and to provide best-in-class, one-on-one restoration services.
Our Risk Coaches are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective. They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Contact your local Risk Coach™ professional, or call us at 800.227.2757, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.