Protecting a Child's Identity has Become More of a Challenge and Increasingly Important for Today's Parents.



Protecting a Child's Identity 
has Become More of a Challenge 
and Increasingly Important 
for Today's Parents


     In the last few years or so, my wife and I have become grandparents three times.  Suffice it to say, "things have
changed" a bit since we had our two babies ... now parents of their own.

     Back when Marilyn and I had our boys, we thought that as parents we were pretty on top of things when we got them their own Social Security numbers fairly early on.  We thought we were ahead of the curve. 

     Now?  Babies are routinely given Social Security numbers at the time that Birth Certificates are applied for.  Typically that occurs right in the hospital.  (If you did not receive a SS# for your child upon their birth and you are in need of a SS# for your child, follow these instructions.)

     In most families, the child's Social Security number then remains unchecked for years ... perhaps until the child applies for their first credit card, hope to finance a car purchase, or need student loans for college 

     Identity thieves are counting on that too.  Identity theft using babies/children's Social Security numbers is on the rise.   

     So how should a parent go about protecting their children from identity theft? 
  • First and foremost, store Social Security card(s) and number(s) in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box or safe.  
  • Do NOT give a child's SS# number or Birth Certificate to anyone unless you have to. (Know that typically, other forms of identification outside of the child's SS# are acceptable for use in most instances, including medical.)
  • Ask any organization or company requesting your child's SS# or Birth Certificate, how they're protecting the information/data they receive from youHow are they using it?  Why do they need the SS# or Birth Certificate, not some other form of ID?
  • Shred all documents that have personal information regarding your child on them prior to throwing them away.  
  • Do not keep old documents/forms of any kind past the time you're actually utilizing them.
  • Periodically check with the fraud divisions of the 3 major Credit Bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). Credit reporting agencies typically do NOT keep credit reports for minors.  Should one of the Credit Bureaus have a report, it is a sign that your child's identity has been compromised.
  • Monitor your child's online and social media habits.  Online methods of gaining identity information are growing and increasingly advanced.  
  • Teach your children about online and social media safety ... to never give personal information out,  and report to you should anyone ask for it.    
  What do you do if you find that your child's identity has been compromised?  Follow these steps:
  •     Immediately contact your local police and file a police report.  Bring any documents, bills, collection notices, etc. that you might have received as proof that your child's identity has been stolen.  
Please note:   According to federal law, credit issuers and collection agencies must make these documents available to the victim/parent when a police report has been submitted with the written request.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Place a Fraud Alert on your child's Credit Report.
  • Provide a copy of the police report regarding your child's identity theft, along with a request for a copy of your child's credit report, to all three of the Credit Bureaus.  
  • Contact the fraud departments at any store(s) or company where identity thief is reported on a Credit Report to have taken place in your child's name.  Ask them to close the account immediately.
  • Consider a Credit Freeze until the identity theft has been cleared up.
  • Keep meticulous records of your actions.
  • Continue to monitor your child's Credit and identity periodically and consistently in the future.         
     Yes, "things have changed".  Protecting a child's identity has become more of a challenge and increasingly important for today's parents.  Awareness regarding the topic of identity theft is their first line of defense.


     Hoping to Buy or Refinance a home in the Chicagoland area?  Contact me well in advance.  I'll check your credit report for errors, identity theft, or to help you improve your credit scores.
     I'm easily found at:
Direct:  815.524.2280
Cell:  708.921.6331
eFax:  815.524.2281   

 Get Answers! Contact Me Now!


 
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Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, an Originator with 40 years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  
The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena, Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County, and elsewhere within IL & WI

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