Sunday, October 11, 2009

Children Can Be Victims Of Identity Thieves Too

We all have a lot of numbers in our lives that are important but the two most essential are our social security number and credit score. Your social security number is your personal identification number that ties you to who you are, what kind of financial responsibility you have and is essential for jobs and more. A credit score is tied closely to this and while a good one makes achieving goals such as home ownership easy a bad credit score can make even getting the dream job impossible.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes not only in the United States but all around the world as thieves learn to steal these important numbers in order to use them for their own gains with no intentions of paying back the loans they open. While most adults are well aware of this problem they take the steps to try and keep their personal information private while monitoring their credit for signs that someone may have stolen this information for their own use. But yet many parents do not stop to think that this is crime that can happen to their children as well as themselves.

Many identity thieves are now choosing to acquire the names and social security numbers of kids just because of the advantages that come with a new clean slate. Though there is a lack of credit history these thieves have found that building one up does not take much effort and in a very short time they can establish enough to have several credit cards as well as even mortgages. Plus since the child is not using their credit as well the chances of the crime being discovered is next to nothing for many years.

While many parents guard their child against abduction with a GPS child locator they fail to protect their identity and the problem is not discovered until it is too late. By the time the teen is ready to attend college and need a student loan or buy a first car the low credit score with several loans in default is finally discovered. While it takes some time to clear up the confusion and clean up the credit it will put the whole life of the child on hold stopping them from reaching for their goals and fulfilling their dreams.

Parents can actually monitor the credit of their child just as they monitor their own. Even the top three credit reporting agencies give parents the chance to run a credit check on a minor child once a year for free in order to catch any potential issues and put a stop to them now instead of later. Though it will not prevent identity theft of a child’s name and social security number it can help discover the crime early so that it can be corrected while the child is still young and not when they need their credit the most.

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