Checking Your Child's Credit Report
Nearly all people assume the most vulnerable group of citizens to experience identity theft are seniors, yet recent reports show the fastest growing population at risk for identity theft are actually children. How is this possible?
While adults make prime targets for identity thieves, a child’s “blank slate” can enable a criminal to do more long-term damage before anyone catches on. This is because a child has a social security number assigned to him/her shortly after birth but that number lays dormant until they are old enough to work, apply for a credit card, purchase a car, or rent an apartment.
Young people now have more protection from identity theft and fraud than ever before. As a parent or legal guardian, you can check your child’s credit report by contacting each of the three credit bureaus. This report is a record of one’s credit activity and credit history, including extended credit in the form of loans, delinquent accounts, and foreclosures. In addition, you can request a credit freeze for your child that will prevent lenders from checking their credit in order to open a new account. Think of it as having a padlock on your child’s credit report.
For more information, visit these websites or call the numbers listed below:
- www.experian.com or 1-888-397-3742
- www.equifax.com or 1-800-525-6285
- www.transunion.com or 1-800-680-7289
To request an education on this or other crime prevention topics please call (239) 258-3280. To report a fraud or scam, call the Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at (239) 258-3292.