Protect Your Child’s Identity

By Carol Wyzinski, Esq.

There are so many opportunities for being victims of fraud. Most of us are savvy enough to know we should shred our credit card bills and anything else with identifying information on it, but have you thought about protecting your child’s identity?
Child identity theft is a fairly new problem, but it’s happening more and more. To keep your child from becoming a victim of identity theft, keep these tips in mind:

1. Don’t disclose personal information if you don’t know how it’s going to be used. Never give your child’s personal information out over the phone, through the mail or online, especially with regard to any kind of sales promotion. Never carry your child’s Social Security card or number in your purse or wallet.
If your child is old enough to use the Internet, watch what they’re doing. Social networking sites have led to an increase in the amount of personal information children are providing about themselves online. Just as you warn your child about talking to strangers, warn them about posting their home address, date of birth or phone number online.

2. Request that your bank require photo identification. This is for all transactions for your accounts or accounts in your child’s name.

3. Don’t apply for credit cards through offers received by mail. If you have opened a credit card account with your child as a joint account holder (typically a teenager), you will more than likely begin to receive credit card offers in your child’s name. If you do, don’t assume that it’s a mistake. If you receive an offer in the mail for your child, check with the three credit reporting agencies periodically to make sure that fraudulent accounts haven’t been opened in your child’s name.

4. Shred all paperwork. Just as you would shred paperwork with your information on it, shred anything with your child’s information on it. The same protections that you employ for yourself should be applied to your child.

5. Contact the Social Security Administration. Call the Social Security Administration and request an earnings report in your child’s Social Security number and name to make sure that someone isn’t out there working under your child’s identity.
If you take these steps and your research turns up fraudulent information, take the following steps to begin to correct the problem:

  • Contact the Social Security Administration and advise them of the fraud
  • Contact the three leading credit report agencies, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax and advise them of the problem
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

Carol Wyzinski is an attorney who helps families make sure everything and everyone they love is taken care of the way they would want if anything happens to them. Her mission is to make sure that children are always with people that they know, love, and trust and not in the hands of strangers. She received her undergraduate degree from The University of California, Santa Barbara and Juris Doctorate from Ventura College of Law.  She is member of WealthCounsel, a national community of top estate planning professionals committed to the highest standard of practice excellence.  She holds Bar Memberships with the State Bar of California, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and United States Court of International Trade.  She is also a member of the American Bar Association.  Carol can be reached at 916-865-9921.

More Articles

Hit the Reset Button on Your Kids’ Nutrition

…with Healthier On-the-go Meals and Snacks By Esther Blum, Integrative Dietitian and Lifestyle Coach After a summer of fun, sun and treats it may be time for a nutrition reset as summer winds down and you prepare for the new school year. As an integrative dietitian, I hear people’s battle cries for help, especially when…

Smart Start: Tips from Teachers to Kick Off the School Year Right

By Christa Melnyk Hines School bells will soon ring once again. Whether that comes as music to your ears or a bittersweet reminder that the free-spirited summer days are over, check out these tips from the pros to help you and your child enjoy a smart, happy start to school. Push the reset button. A…

Back to School Traditions to Start this Year

By Pam Molnar The years seem to pick up speed as your child gets older. One minute they are getting on the bus for Kindergarten and in the blink of an eye, they are walking across the stage at their high school graduation. Don’t let those years go by in a blur. Capture the first…

Nurturing Nature in Kids

By Linda Chaiko-Lepley If you’re spending time outdoors with your children and instilling in them a love of nature, give yourself a pat on the back! But, if you’re reading this article and feel a tinge of guilt that your child might be spending more time in front of a screen, and less time out…

Beat the Summer Heat with These Cool Ideas!

Check out our “Cooler Than a Popsicle” Pinterest board for some excellent activities for the kids during this hot summer heat wave!

An Age-by-Age Guide: How to Teach Money-Saving Tips

By: H. Davis If you’re like most parents, you want to raise responsible children, especially when it comes to finances. But raising financially responsible children involves lots of teaching and tons of education lessons right from the start. Aside from giving them an understanding about the value of money, teaching children about finances helps them…

Vaping 101

By Christa Melnyk Hines Just as cigarette smoking drops to its lowest level in years, e-cigarette use, a.k.a. “vaping,” is exploding among middle and high school students. Teens may blow off the trend as harmless, but experts think otherwise. “It’s important to understand that this is a drug delivery system. In some ways, calling it…

What is Parent-Child Interactive Therapy?

The need-to-know for parents of kids with behavioral challenges. By Michelle Kopkash Frequent tantrums. Non-stop whining. Shows of aggression. Constant complaining. Acts of defiance. Deliberate attempts to annoy others for attention. If any of these negative behaviors sound painfully familiar to you as a parent, there’s good news. With the right parenting tools and skills,…

Sacramento [is] International

Encourage Kids to Learn a Second Language By Stephen Muff Americans are notorious for not learning another language. Roughly three-quarters of Americans have no foreign language. Yet, a nation to the North speaks French, a nation to the south speaks Spanish, and we can see Russia approximately 55 miles from Alaska. The benefits of learning…

Subscribe to the Parent Newsletter

Our latest articles, resources and tips—direct to your inbox.

Follow Sacramento Parent