Children make a tempting target for identity thieves because theft of a child's identity may go undetected for years.
After their child is born, most parents apply for a Social Security number, which is all that's required to open most credit accounts. It could be years until a child applies for credit in his or her own name. This makes it easy for identity theft to go undetected for years and create serious consequences.
- Identity theft could affect your child's future credit and employment history if the thieves (who sometimes turn out to be family members), obtain credit accounts or even get jobs using your child’s identity.
- If the thieves are arrested for other crimes, those crimes could become associated with your child's record.
How do you know if your child's identity has been stolen?
- Your child begins to receive suspicious mail, like pre-approved credit cards and other financial offers normally sent to adults, in his or her own name.
- You try to open a financial account for him or her but find one already exists, or the application is denied because of a poor credit history.
- A credit report already exists in his or her name. If the child has one, he or she may have been targeted already, since only an application for credit, a credit account, or a public record starts the compilation of a consumer credit file.
If you suspect that identity thieves may have targeted your child, TransUnion can help. Please use our secure Child Identity Theft Inquiry Form to submit details about your concerns. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, do not email sensitive, identifying or account information.
The more detailed the information you provide, the more thoroughly we can investigate the existence of a potential credit file in your child's name. Remember, you are initiating this communication with TransUnion, a trusted source of credit information. We will use this information only to conduct the search you request. We will not include this sensitive information in any return correspondence to you.
After our search is complete, we will respond to you at the email address you provide. If we locate a file in your child's name, we will ask you for additional information in order to proceed with steps to protect your child from any impact associated with this fraudulent activity. The more promptly you respond to this request, the more quickly we can take action on your family's behalf.