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Preventing Child Identity Theft

February 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 130

Identity theft doesn't just affect adults. Children are also at risk of having their identity stolen, and this type of crime is becoming more common. Children are good targets for identity theft because it may be years before the crime is discovered. Usually the child's parents discover that their child's identity has been stolen when they attempt to open a bank account or a college fund for their child or when their child begins receiving credit card applications in the mail or calls from collection agencies. They may find out about the crime when their child is denied a driver's license for unpaid traffic tickets or when the police come to their door to arrest them for writing bad checks. These events may happen years after the child's identity is stolen.

Lenders have no way of knowing the age of the person applying for credit. The information on the application is usually accepted with very little investigation into its accuracy. It is important that parents stay vigilant in protecting their children's identity. One way to prevent identity theft is by placing a freeze on their child's credit report. With a freeze in place lenders will not extend credit. The freeze can be lifted when the child becomes an adult and needs to establish a credit history. Parents should also check their child's credit report regularly.

If you discover your child's identity has been stolen, contact the credit agencies, dispute the reporting and ask the credit agencies to remove the notations from the child's credit report. Parents should also file a police report so that there is some record supporting the parent's assertion that their child's identity has been stolen. Request copies of all statements, loan applications and requests for extension of credit from the lenders and provide this information to the police so that they can use it in their investigation.

It can be a very difficult process to clean up a person's credit history after identity theft and it requires very little effort to prevent most cases of identity theft from occurring. Shred documents containing your child's personal information rather than throwing them away. Don't carry your child's social security cards and other documents containing personal information with you. These documents should be kept at home in a secure place or in a safe deposit box. Finally, be on the lookout for signs that there is a problem, such as receiving credit card applications in your child's name in the mail.

Nathan S. Graham is an attorney with The Wright Firm, LLP. Nathan represents individuals and small businesses in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. The Wright Firm, LLP, has offices in Dallas, Denton, Lewisville, and Frisco.

For more information about Nathan Graham visit Nathan's Dallas Bankruptcy Attorney Blog at

Source: EzineArticles
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