• Protect financial accounts: Many parents open savings accounts for their children, but they must be careful to keep financial statements private, ensure accounts can’t be accessed without their approval and opt out of any marketing to avoid credit card offers in their children’s names. To opt out of credit card offers for five years, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (567-8688) or visit optoutprescreen.com.
• Understand warning signs: Parents who receive credit card offers in their kid’s name should be wary, as this may mean their identity has been compromised. Other signs include denial of a bank account or driver’s license or collection calls or bills addressed to a child.
• Check your child’s credit: Parents who believe their child is at risk for identity theft should request a credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The process for requesting a report on behalf of a child is different for each credit bureau. The steps and required documentation can be found on their respective websites.
If a child’s identity has been stolen, parents immediately should file a police report, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-ID-THEFT (438-4338) and place a fraud alert on the child’s file with all three credit reporting companies.
For more financial tips, visit takechargeamerica.org.