Identity Thieves Are Targeting Children. You May Need To Check Your Child’s Credit!

Do I need to check my child's social security number for credit card fraud?May 12, 2011 – NBC’s Jeff Rossen did an investigative report that appeared on The Today Show this morning. Identity thieves are stealing the social security numbers of newborns, sometimes before they are even born knowing that they will have years to rack up debt before anyone ever thinks to run a credit check, which usually happens when your child applies for their first credit card or car loan! It seems that there are thousands and maybe tens of thousands of cases nationwide!

Jeff explains that the social security number is a code. The first three numbers represents the state that issued it and the last six numbers represent the approximate date it was issued, a clue to the person’s birthday. With simple software, thieves can predict what a child’s social security number will be so that when your newborn gets their number at the hospital it may already be stolen!

Then armed with their brand new hot little social security number they head to the bank.  Jeff Rossen reports that there is a flaw in the credit system that let’s them get away with using someone else’s number.
When someone applies for a loan, the bank usually only checks that the social security number has a good credit history. Most banks don’t check to see if that number is assigned to that loan applicant’s name because the government charges a fee and most banks don’t want to pay it! OMG!

Jeff told stories of three child victims. One is two years old and is in debt by so many thousands that he had to declare bankruptcy. A nine year old is in default of utility bills and a teenager’s credit report shows she is $750,000 in debt.

In the teenager’s case two different guys were using her social security number and Jeff Rossen and his team tracked them down at their workplaces. Of course they didn’t have anything to say but the teen and her parents were understandably upset that these guys could walk around scot free and the police is not doing anything about it!  Jeff reported that in many cases the police don’t have the time or resources to go after these guys.

Unfortunately the burden of getting it taken care of falls on the victim. The victim has to prove that their identity has been stolen and it could take years to straighten out!  Jeff did say that beginning next month new social security numbers will be more randomized making it more difficult for crooks to predict them.

So what can we do now? Jeff said do a credit check for your kids. It will tell you if anyone else is using their social security number.  Jeff says for more information on how to do a credit check for your child go to today.com.  More information is there for you.
If you receive the credit report for your child and find that indeed your child’s identity has been stolen, you have to immediately put a freeze on your child’s credit so it can prevent any future theft.  But it may take years for you to contact all the credit card companies and credit bureaus.  Again and unfortunately the burden of proof is on you. a Major Pain!

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