Are My Children at Risk From Identity Theft?

Even children are vulnerable to identity theft. They are often targeted by identity thieves (the vast majority of whom are family members or close family friends, which is how they gain access to the child’s personal financial information) because their credit histories are clean, in that they typically don’t have a credit history and carry no debt.

As a result, children provide identity thieves with a blank slate from which they can apply for credit and take out loans. Oftentimes, children will not realize they have become victims of identity theft until years later when a credit report is pulled when they rent their first apartment or they apply for their first credit card or auto loan.

Make sure you keep any financial documents related to your children in a safe place. This includes their social security cards, green cards, state identity cards (especially if they feature your children’s social security numbers), medical insurance cards, bank and other financial account statements, birth certificates, child custody documents and any other legal documents. These documents contain identifying information that you should carefully protect in a secure environment.