Protect your kids’ IDs — FRAUD

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From The Detroit Free Press comes this story by Zlati Meyer on Aug. 29.


They wear helmets.

They’re told not to play with matches.

They’re warned not to talk to strangers.

But this is one crime it’s tough to protect them from.

Children are the newest victims of identity fraud — and sometimes, they don’t even know they’ve been exploited.

How to guard your children from identity thieves

  • Don’t give out their Social Security numbers. If you’re asked for it, find out if it is mandatory information. If it is, ask who has access to it and how the data, be it a paper form or an online database, is kept safe and, when no longer needed, destroyed.
  • Protect their dates of birth and mothers’ maiden names.
  • Have a talk with older children about the importance of keeping private information private. Instruct them to ask you for permission before sharing it with people who ask them for it.
  • Freeze their credit with the three credit reporting agencies:  Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

Signs your children’s identities may have been stolen

  • Pre-approved credit card offers are mailed to your home, addressed to them.
  • Collection agencies call and ask to speak to them.
  • Your children are served notices to appear in court for unpaid bills.

What to do if your children’s identities, in fact, have been compromised

  • File a police report.
  • Contact credit agencies.
  • Contact creditors.
  • Keep a journal, detailing everyone you’ve contacted, on what dates, what you said and what they said.

Source: Free Press research

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