Until recently I have never heard of child identity theft. Sure, I have heard of identity theft and my wife and I have taken steps to protect ourselves. We view our bank statements on line regularly, destroy old credit cards, shred credit card statements etc. If you have not heard of this new crime, you must read the article on Child Identity Theft over at Who Stole My Identity.
So, why are children targets of identity theft? The article explains that it may be many years before the child would discover they have become a victim. How shocking would it be for a your child when they try to get their first job, buy their first car, rent their first apartment, or get their first credit card to only find out they have been denied because of bad credit! Every parent should be a little shocked and angry at such a crime. By the time such a crime is discovered the trail may become so cold the criminals may never be caught and you child is left with a ruined credit rating to try and repair.
So what can be done? Basically the same things you do to protect your identity will help protect your childs. The article recommends renting a safety deposit box to store all your childs important documents, including his or hers social security card, birth certificate etc? If you have older child make sure you talk to them and be careful what they say or do online.
As parents we need to be concerned about our childs safety and future. Unfortunately this is one more thing as parents we need to be aware of so that we can help product our childrens future and good name. The last thing we want for our children is to be battling trying to repair their credit before they step out the door and start their own life.