In 2017 over one million kiddos fell victim to child identity theft. Unlike an adult—who is more likely to figure out that someone has stolen their identity the next time they apply for a credit card, car loan, mortgage or just about anything else that requires a credit score—child victims often don’t discover the theft right away. So what can you do to protect your child against identity theft?

Chances are you’ve heard of Experian. At least, if you have a credit score (which we’re guessing you do). Well now Experian wants to help protect your child against identity theft. Oh, and they don’t want to charge you anything for this service.

According to Michael Bruemmer, vice president of Consumer Protection at Experian, “A child’s SSN is like gold to identity thieves and clean slates for criminals to do damage over possibly a long period of time.”

Instead of waiting until your tot is a teen to find out that someone has stolen their identity and demolished their credit, Experian is offering a one-time Child ID Scan. A recent Experian survey revealed that 51 percent of child identity theft victims found out about the fraud as an adult when applying for a credit card. A whopping 52 percent were denied credit because of the fraud and one in four were still dealing with problems resulting from the childhood identity theft 10 years later.

All you need to do is visit Experian’s Child Scan website and enter the required information. Experian will search for your child’s social security number, looking to see if it’s already attached to a credit file.

So what happens if the Child ID Scan turns up credit that’s been opened in your child’s name? They’ll help you to take the next step!

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: jarmoluk via Pixabay

 

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