Children Are Also at Risk for Having Their Identity Stolen
Image by Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay
Identity theft is not only a problem for adults. In fact, children are a at greater risk of identity theft than adults.
In 2017, over 1 million children had their identities stolen, causing over $540 million in out-of-pocket expenses for their families and $2.6 billion in total losses. The 2018 Child Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research shows that two thirds of the victims of child identity theft were under the age of eight. Children make such alluring victims of identity theft because they have no existing financial or credit records. The identity theft of a child is often not discovered until the child grows up and tries to apply for a car loan or a credit card and discovers thousands of dollars in debt in their name.Imagine the devastation of finding out that the first thing you have to do as an adult is face the legal system to try to recover your identity and your futureThat is a reality that no child or family should ever face.
Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent child identity theft.
1. Be careful of putting your child’s information online
While some digital records cannot be helped, as school and medical records are increasingly put online, you can otherwise limit their digital footprint.
2. Check in with your child’s credit history
Regularly check your child’s credit history and freeze any and all accounts if anything suspicious is found. Freezing their accounts until they are old enough to use them will only serve to protect them for the future.
3. Protect your whole family with a legal and identity theft monitoring plan
Life is busy and hectic enough without having to worry about constantly check your own credit, let alone your five-year old’s. In order to help meet that need, many companies have created insured legal plans with identity theft monitoring included. These plans will monitor the internet and dark web for your family’s personal information and alert you if anything is found. Many plans also provide legal defense, identity restoration services and up to $1,000,000 identity theft insurance.
Prevention is key just like with healthcare. It is important to prepare for the potential worst and protect your child’s future so that whatever happens you know their identity and information will be safe.