Child identity theft protection
Published September 2015

Easy Targets

How to protect your child’s identity

In our digital world, it’s no shock that identity theft is a huge problem. But did you know, according to a Carnegie Mellon CyLab study conducted in 2013, the rate of identity theft is 51 percent higher for children than for adults? In fact, 70 percent of the records involved in child ID theft cases were loan and credit accounts.
Far too many young adults are hit by the harsh reality that their identities were stolen when they first apply for credit. An identity thief ruined their credit before they ever got a chance to establish it for themselves. Here are some steps you can take to protect the young people in your life from identity theft:
  • Give out your child’s Social Security number sparingly. Ask the requesting party why they need it, what steps they will take to protect it, and if there’s any other form of identification other than an SSN that would be acceptable.
  • Keep your documents secure. Storing your child’s birth certificate and Social Security card in an easily accessible home office filing cabinet or desk drawer, is like handing their identity over to a potential thief. These documents need to be accessed very infrequently. The peace of mind and long-term protection make investing in a home safe or safe deposit box worthwhile.
  • Watch for warning signs. If your child receives mail you wouldn’t expect, or credit card offers, something is awry.
  • Know how and when to check your child’s credit report. If you suspect your child may be the victim of identity theft, contact the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to check if a credit report exists under your child’s Social Security Number. The best news would be an answer of “there is no report,” in which case you would not proceed further. Only order a child’s credit report when you have a firm reason to do so, such as the knowledge that the report already exists.
Child ID Protection
ChildSecure® and additional benefits only are available in the ProtectMyID® Deluxe plan, which costs $8.95 a month. Or AAA members can enroll for free in the ProtectMyID Essential plan, a $79 value. To find out which plan is right for you, visit
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