Mom Shares Tips for Fighting Child Identity Theft

Nov 02, 2012

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Jacque Jewett's daughter's personal identification information was exposed. Upon discovering that much of the advice on the Internet about protecting yourself from identity theft isn't enough, she created her own recommendations for other parents.

  • Have a file that includes a log of all the steps you take, whom you contacted, and what was said.
  • File a police report and theft reports with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.gov) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov). Print out the affidavit that accompanies the FTC filing process and save copies of the reports for your records.
  • Request credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax every year.
  • Scrutinize the Experian credit report because it's the only one that provides “soft hit” credit inquiries (listed under “activity that does not impact your credit”). Call each “soft hit” to ask why the company is making an inquiry on your child's file.
  • File a fraud alert with all three credit reporting companies individually and get a letter, on letterhead from the business, school, or other entity that has experienced the data breach, stating that your or your child's Social Security number was compromised.
  • Call 1-888-567-8688, a service from the credit reporting agencies to prohibit companies from making credit inquiries and sending out pre-approved credit offers in your child's name.
  • Request a letter on letterhead from the Social Security Administration linking your child's name and number.
  • If you request an online credit report and get a “no match” response, it's possible someone else is using your child's Social Security number. Send the credit reporting agencies a copy of the police report and the official Social Security Administration letter, along with whatever documents they request. Do this even if there is no obvious credit fraud on the credit report.

For more information, visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

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