Check Your Child’s Credit? Might Be a Shrewd Move

What's Hot

5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

15 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

New Email Phishing Scam Targets Amazon ShoppersMore

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 7 Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Adults are not the only ones who can fall victim to identity theft. Learn the signs that indicate your child might be a target.

Here’s a scary thought: Parents should consider checking their children’s credit reports well before the little ones are old enough to apply for credit.

The Associated Press reports that experts say more parents should monitor their children’s credit.

That’s because even kids can fall prey to identity theft — but it usually doesn’t become apparent until years later, when the child is rejected for a student loan, for example. Identity thieves often prefer to target kids because the crooks can get away with their crime for a longer period of time.

Thieves only need a child’s Social Security number to fraudulently open a credit card or take out a loan in the child’s name, Eva Velasquez — president and chief executive of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center — tells the AP.

Such thieves often use different names and dates of births when opening accounts under the stolen Social Security number.

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website, identity thieves can also use a child’s Social Security number to apply for government benefits, open a bank account, apply for a utility service or rent a home.

The FTC says there are warning signs that might indicate a child’s personal information is being used fraudulently. They include the child or parent:

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

To learn more about child identity theft, check out the AP’s Q&A with Velasquez or the FTC’s Child Identity Theft page, which includes directions for checking a child’s credit.

If you or one of your children need to restore credit, check out “Get Help Restoring Your Credit.”

Have you or anyone you know ever dealt with child identity theft? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 6 Ways to Get Your Official FICO Score Free

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,727 more deals!