Here is what you need to know about identity theft against your kids and against you.

Here are some key takeaways from Jean Chatzky’s podcast “Money 911: Identify Theft and Scams”.

Protect your kids against identity theft:
1. Ask the 3 major bureaus if your child has a report. If they do that means there was activity. They should add a fraud alert to that file, and you should request a copy of the file.
2. 1/3 of all identity theft against kids is done by friends and family
3. File a police report as soon as you discover the fraud.
4. Ask the Social Security office if anyone has used the SS number for employment purposes.
5. Ask the Social Security office to issue a new number for your child.
6. Signs your child may be a victim of identity theft:
-Receives credit card offers
-Bills and credit card statements mailed to your child
-Calls or letters from debt collectors
-Denial of a driver’s license

Protect yourself against identity theft:
1. Paper shredders are a great investment for protecting your information security.
2. Make sure your computer has a firewall.
3. Don’t provide personal information to anyone that contacts you claiming to be a bank or other entity.
4. If you are a victim of identity theft you can put a fraud alert on your credit report.
5. An initial credit fraud alert lasts 90 days and can be used even if you just suspect fraud.
6. An extended fraud alert can last 7 years and is reserved for victims of identity theft.

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