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Top Story: Your kids are at high risk for ID theft - here's how to protect them

Top Story: Your kids are at high risk for ID theft - here's how to protect them
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If there was ever a time to get ID theft protection, it's now. It turns out that your kids are at greater risk of having their IDs stolen than you are, by far, according to CBS.

Criminals are racking up thousands of dollars in kids' names, and ruining their credit. They have an easy time stealing kids' ID, and use their Social Security numbers, which most kids haven't used, to get loans for cars and homes. In fact, some kids have home foreclosures on their credit reports.

Kids' ID theft isn't a rare occurrence. More than 10% of kids' Social Security numbers are being used by criminals. That's 51 times higher than it is for adults (0.2%), according to Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab.

In their study, the worst case of ID theft was for $725,000 in fraud. The victim was a 16-year-old girl. The youngest victim of ID theft in its study was 5 months old.

Kid ID theft

So, how can you protect your kids' IDs and save them from years of trying to reclaim their ID, and fix their credit? One step is to freeze their credit.

That prevents criminals from using your kids' Social Security numbers. To freeze credit, contact one the three credit bureaus. The problem, however, is that not all states allow you to freeze your child's credit. If you can freeze their credit, do it.

If you can't freeze your kids' credit, try this, courtesy of NewsMom. Make your child an authorized user on one of your credit cards. That'll create a record for the credit bureaus to freeze. Then, freeze their credit, as you would your own.

Child ID theft

Note: A credit freeze will prevent people from using your child's Social Security number to take out a loan. But it won't prevent criminals from using it for other purposes, including tax and insurance fraud.

 

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