When you think of identity theft, you most likely think in terms of your credit card information being hacked or stolen, and the thief then using your card to make purchases in your name.
But identity theft can be much, much worse than that.
Many years ago, people didn't apply for social security numbers until they were about to begin a career or get a high-school job. Times have changed, and now almost everyone gets a SSN shortly after they are born.
For 15 or more years, most children's social security numbers lie dormant and unused.
And that is what makes those identification numbers so attractive to identity thieves.
For 15 or more years, an identity thief can use a child's SSN as his or her own, running up unpaid credit balances, creating a trail of being arrested, even leaving an incorrect medical history. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that over 3.5 million children's identities have been stolen and misused, and the number is growing exponentially.
What can you do to minimize the chances identity theft doesn't happen to your child? Check at least once a year with the Social Security Administration to make sure your child's SSN isn't being used. Check also with credit bureaus on a regular basis. Be especially concerned if your child begins receiving offers in the mail such as pre-approved credit cards or other financial offers. Use an identity theft protection service that monitors your child's identification as well as your own.
LegalShield's IDShield identity theft protection program offers identity theft protection for adults and children. The plan includes identity theft protection for up to eight dependent children under the age of 18 per covered couple at no additional cost.
IDShield offers these benefits and more:
To learn more about protecting your and your children's identity from identity thieves, click here to go to our LegalShield IDShield's pages, where you can read more about it, see videos explaining it, and sign up for IDShield today.
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• Independent Life & Health Insurance Agent
• LegalShield & IDSheld Independent Associate & Director