Many consumers across the country have, for one reason or another, ruined their credit rating. Many of those consumers have children, and for some, the allure of stealing their child’s clean financial history is too much temptation to resist.
According to a recent report from CNN, children are easy targets for identity thieves because they don’t use their credit, and they are unlikely to notice any discrepancies until they are well into adulthood. A child victimized by an identity theft crime may not discover the damage for 10 or 15 years. No child’s identity is safe from identity theft because of this, but the awful truth is that some children’s own guardians take advantage of their access to this information. Parents who have irreparably damaged their own credit history see the benefit of their child’s clean-slate too appealing to resist. Many children who discover the damage of identity theft on their financial records still find it difficult to prosecute their parent for emotional reasons.
Indicators of child identity theft are as follows:
- Calls from collection companies for child
- Credit Card offers for child
- Bills in child’s name
If any of these apply to you or your family contact the credit bureaus and request a report for your child. If you are told there is no report, that’s good news. A person should not have a credit report until they apply for accounts as an adult.
If you know the person who has stolen your identity consider your options. Without reporting the crime to the police, you cannot clean-up your credit report. However, by contacting the police the perpetrator is subject to jail time for fraud. If you want to talk through your situation, we encourage you to contact a counselor. You deserve a bright future.