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If your identity is stolen, do these 10 things to minimize the impact. Tim Walters/FLORIDA TODAY Posted Aug. 31, 2017

Your child wants to sign up for an after-school activity or join a sports league. Other than a request for the child’s name, be skeptical when someone wants the child’s person for other information.

Children are 35 times more likely to be victims of identity theft because they don’t have a credit history and their Social Security number isn’t active, according to the Division of Consumer Protection of the New York Department of State.

Back-to-school time is when children’s personal information may be susceptible to theft, according to a news release from the department.

Parents or guardians may get asked, either at an in-person registration or when filling out a form, to supply information that could expose a child to identity theft. You may have to supply the child’s date of birth for a sports team or other activity grouped by age. But before giving anything else to a daycare, a sports league, activity club, doctor, library or anyone else who says they need it, ask why they want it. Ask also how the information will be used, stored, disposed of and who will have access.

A child’s personal information can be used to create a false identity to open credit cards or utility accounts, or make large purchases. The family may not know fraud has been committed for years, until the child opens a bank account, applies for a job or tries to rent an apartment.

New York law allows parents and guardians of children younger than 16 to put a security freeze on their protected consumer record. The freeze also prevents anyone from opening a credit account in the child’s name. A parent or guardian interested in placing a freeze on their protected consumer’s record must contact individual consumer reporting agencies, each of which has different criteria to set up the freeze.

For information about contacting the three main credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and Trans Union — go to www.usa.gov/credit-reports.

The Division of Consumer Protection also suggests:

  • Label books, backpacks, and lunches only on the inside with only with child’s name.
  • Be careful in providing identifying information to after-school activities and sports clubs. If asked for a Social Security number, insist on using another identifier.
  • Check with your child’s school about releases allowing them to use your child’s likeness.
  • Ask how your child’s school collects personal information.
  • Regularly check your child’s online social networks and talk to your child about using the internet safely.
  • Carefully evaluate store or online offers that require a name, date of birth or other identifying information for registration.
  • Read the privacy policies that accompany any solicitations either by mail or online.
  • Register your child’s cellphone with the national Do Not Call Registry so he/she is not solicited by telemarketers who may encourage them to give out their personal information.

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More: How to keep your kid’s identity safe

More: Identity theft protection ran out. Now what?

 

 

 

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