Protecting your Child’s Identity
Sadly, identity theft has become common enough that we’re vigilant about our bank accounts and social security numbers. It’s good practice to check your credit report annually, but have you ever considered that your children’s identity information might be at risk?
In 2017, the FTC received over 13,000 reports of identity theft in which the victims were age 19 and younger. Any financially motivated identity theft could be detected and managed by checking your family’s credit reports, but identity thieves often use the stolen information of minors on job and rental applications, as well as while seeking medical treatment.
This is called non-financial identity theft, and most people aren’t aware that it happens. So how can you protect your family? Just like you can check your credit history, you can also check your rental, medical, and legal history.
There are sites where you can look up your rental history based on your social security number. If anyone has rented, or been evicted, while using your identity, it will be listed here.
ON other sites you can get a report on your medical information as provided by your health insurance provider. This includes any lab results, medical conditions, and treatments. Review this for any conditions or testing that weren’t your family’s; these are red flags that your family’s information might have been used.
Lastly, there are many sites where you can see any background checks, legal history, cases, and judgments unrelated to your credit. What’s listed on this report will give you an idea of whether your family’s information has been used by someone illegally.
Now that you know non-financial identity theft is a risk, and some ways to check to see if your family has been a victim of this crime, you can better protect yourself from it. Just like your credit check, you are entitled to a copy of each of these reports every year, for free, to protect your family.