Thursday, September 26, 2013

Children and Identity Theft

Experts say kids are easy targets largely because they don’t do things like open bank accounts, apply for jobs or take out loans that would make them aware of any problems on their credit report. As results, thieves can often use a child’s identity for years, even decades without anyone knowing it. Many parents are not aware that their Children’s information is of considerable value to identity thieves.
What’s a parent to do?
Luckily, there are precautions that lower the risks of your child becoming a victim.

-Use extra caution at school. Ask how your child’s personal info is being uses before sharing it and verify that sensitive documents are stored in a safe/secure location. Also think twice about having your child listed in the school directory since thieves could obtain a copy of it.

-Keep SSN’s under wraps. Keep your child’s social in a locked safe or safety deposit box. Always ask anyone who requests it how it will be used and whether an alternate form of ID can work. Teach your child to be equally selective about revealing his or her SSN to anyone. Most thief's will use one child’s name, another's SSN and a fake DOB.

-Monitor the mail. A credit card offer, income tax return or letters from a collection agency in your child’s name are all signs that something is fishy.

-Request an annual credit report and manual search. It’s good practice to get a credit report for yourself and your child each year. You can visit Annualcreditreport.com to order a free report. While credit reports show whether anyone is illegally using your child’s name, only a manual search will reveal is your child’s SSN is being used under another name. The credit bureaus are required to conduct a no-cost manual search when it’s requested.

-Report any problems ASAP! Do not wait to file a police report if you or your child’s identity is at risk.

Most homeowners or renters policies in NYS offer Identity theft coverage automatically or by endorsement for a small fee.  Contact your current agent to confirm whether or not you currently have this coverage and whom the coverage applies in your home.

If you have questions or would like more information stop in to one of our three offices. (Bring your current policy even if it is with another agent if you have one).

-Tanner Insurance Agency, Inc.

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