Does someone own your child’s identity?

These days our child are at increased risk to have their financial identity ripped off. Identity thieves might use an identity, stolen shortly after birth, for 15 years or more. Criminals can use the stolen personal data to open credit cards, file fraudulent tax returns, and much more. All this damage may take several years to fix.

The Federal Trade Commission list some warning signs of possible child identification theft.

  • be turned down for government benefits because the benefits are being paid to another account using your child’s Social Security number
  • get a notice from the IRS saying the child didn’t pay income taxes, or that the child’s Social Security number was used on another tax return
  • get collection calls or bills for products or services you didn’t receive

These can seem to come from left field for most parents and shock us in the process. One of the major effects of the theft can be a poor credit rating that effects employment background checks, student loans and much more. Additionally, the child may have fraudulent debts that go into collection and cause other headaches.

Parents need to be aware of putting out their child’s information on social media and even on innocuous forms for information from their kid’s school or daycare.

Fortunately for parents, the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have published information to help prevent and resolve child identity issue. I have researched this topic. The single best source of information for Proactive Parents can be found at

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0040-child-identity-theft

Additional information on

How do I check to see if my child has a credit report?

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1865/how-do-I-check-to-see-if-my-child-has-credit-report.html

What should I do if there is an error on a minor child’s credit report or evidence of identity theft?

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1867/what-should-I-do-if-there-is-an-error-on-minor-childs-credit-report-or-evidence-of-identity-theft.html

 

About Rorik Larson

Rorik Larson is a fee-only financial planner located in Palos Heights, IL serving clients throughout the Chicago area and across the country. Essential Financial Strategies provides tax focused comprehensive wealth planning, college planning, and retirement planning, to help clients organize, protect, and grow their assets. Essential Financial Strategies serves clients as a fiduciary.

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