Safeguarding Our Customers

Stay Alert – Protect Your Child From Identity Theft

Watch Out For Charity Scams Child identity theft happens when someone takes a child's personal information and uses it to commit fraud. They could apply for government benefits, open a bank or credit card account, apply for a loan, or sign up for a utility service.

Here's what you can do to protect your child from identity theft:
  1. Ask questions before giving anyone your child's Social Security number.
    • Why do you need it?
    • How will you protect it?
    • Can you use a different identifier?
    • Can you use just the last four digits of the Social Security number?

  2. Protect documents with personal information.
    Keep documents with your child's personal information in a safe place, like a locked file cabinet. When you decide to get rid of those documents, shred them before you throw them away.

  3. Delete personal information before disposing of a computer or cell phone.
    Your computer and phone might contain personal information about your child.

  4. Freeze your child's credit.
    There's no reason for most children to have credit reports, since it's illegal for anyone under 16 to apply for a loan or credit card in their own name. Fraudulent loan and credit card applications can generate credit reports, however, and by the time you or the child discovers them, they could be full of unpaid accounts. Nip this in the bud by requesting a security freeze for your child at each of the national credit bureaus. This prevents any loans or credit cards from being issued in the child's name.
In addition to taking steps to safeguard your child's personal information, keep an eye out for warning signs that someone has stolen your child's identity. They include getting calls about overdue bills in your child's name or being denied a student loan because your child has bad credit.

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