Your credit card is declined, and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. The metallic strip worked just yesterday. You’ve paid your bills on time. Could someone have stolen your number?
Sadly, a stolen credit card is just one minor scene from a full-fledged nightmare known as identity theft. Once a person has stolen your driver’s license number, or worse, social security number, they can impersonate you to file taxes, apply for credit, and even get medical services.
When most people think about identity theft, they often forget about children being victims. While children are less at risk for identity fraud than adults, when it happens it can be much more damaging.
How to Tell Whether Your Child’s Identity Has Been Targeted
Since your child doesn’t pay household bills, apply for loans, or open accounts, identity theft is rarely immediately obvious. Sometimes households may receive calls from bill collectors or letters from the IRS, looking for their child’s “payments.”
Child identity theft usually doesn’t come to light until they apply for a job or loan as a teen or young adult–when the damage has already been done.
Sometimes the theft goes on for years, destroying your child’s credit before they’ve even gotten started.
One way to find out if your child has been a victim of identity theft is ordering a credit report in their name. The Federal Trade Commission recommends acquiring a credit report around your child’s sixteenth birthday so that any problems can be remedied before your son or daughter applies for a job, student or car loan, or rental agreement.
Prevention is the Best Protection
The best way to protect your child from identity theft is to keep sensitive information out of the wrong hands.
While that seems like an easy enough “cure” for identity theft, you can’t always control how schools or medical offices safeguard personal data. In the event of a break-in or security breach, hundreds of families can be put at risk within moments. There is little you can do to control those situations.
With our Secure Checking Account and IDProtect® - Identity Theft Monitoring and Resolution Service, you can rest assured that you and your eligible family members are getting the necessary monitoring of over 1,000 non-credit databases and public records, which is where identity theft would be evident, especially in children.
Avoid the expensive, time-consuming and personally devastating effect of identity theft. IDProtect® also provides daily monitoring of your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports and will alert you if key changes or suspicious activity are detected.
Credit unions are known for looking out for the best interests of local families, which is why Advantage Credit Union includes IDProtect® for every family member living under one roof as part of your checking account. IDProtect® provides protection for any identity fraud event, financial or otherwise, anywhere in the world, even if the event has nothing to do with your account at Advantage Credit Union, Inc.
For more information about how to protect your entire family from identity theft, read more about our Advantage Secure Checking. Or contact us at 419-529-5603.« Back to Articles