It’s often not a parent’s first thought to check the credit report of their minor child, however, it may now become a necessity. Not because a child may fraudulently be using credit without their parents’ knowledge but because scammers may have stolen their unused Social Security number and identity.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) put out a warning last week that parents should take notice to their children’s credit reports well before the age of the child being able to use credit to make sure their identity hasn’t been stolen.
This is a crime that is growing in the United States; a scammer uses an inactive Social Security number found online and sells them to people in an attempt to establish fan credit. The stolen numbers often belong to children well below the age of credit eligible years.
“Protecting a child’s innocent, clean record is something that every parent needs to do.”
According to the BBB press release about this matter:
“Scammers find it easy to target children – infants even – because parents are less likely to check the credit report of their 3-year-old child. What makes this crime so much worse is it often goes unnoticed until years after the fact when the child goes to make his or her first credit transaction.
One report put out by CyLab, shared a story of a 17-year-old girl who is $725,000 in debt because her Social Security number was stolen and linked to eight different suspects. The suspects opened 42 accounts including mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. Several bills were in collections” – Source.
The BBB is holding multiple Shred Day events throughout Central Texas between October 15 and 29, 2011. The events are in an effort to recognize and learn the need for consumer education and protection. The events are free and offer document shredding and paper recycling on the spot along with advice for protecting yours (and your child’s) identity. Consumers can bring confidential documents, phones, compact disks, floppy disks and old computer parts to be shred and recycled onsite for free.
If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.