Prevent Identity Theft – Check Your Child’s Credit History!

Prevent Identity Theft – Check Your Child’s Credit History!

Florida continues to lead the nation in identity theft complaints with children fast becoming the number one victims. As part of National Consumer Protection Week, March 6-12, the Florida consumer folks want you to know, that silly as it sounds, you should be checking your child’s credit history.

Child Identity Theft

Each year, more than 50,000 children in Florida become victims of identity theft, and more than $100 million is stolen from children whose identities have been compromised. Identity thieves target kids because they generally have clean credit histories, and years will pass before the crime is detected. It’s never too early to start protecting your child from identity theft.

•Most parents don’t think to check their children’s credit histories, allowing the crime to go undetected for years. Many cases of child identity theft aren’t discovered until the child applies for a loan or their first job.

The Keeping I.D. Safe (KIDS) Act enables parents and guardians to create and freeze credit records for their children, effectively blocking thieves from using their personal information. For more information about placing a freeze on your child’s credit, visit

Freeze Your Child’s Credit

Florida law gives kids an extra line of defense against identity theft. Credit reporting agencies are required to establish and freeze a credit record for a minor upon request by a parent or guardian. By freezing your child’s credit, you can effectively block others from using it.

National Consumer Protection Week

National Consumer Protection Week is a coordinated campaign that encourages people to learn about their consumer rights and to make better-informed decisions. NCPW is also an opportunity to address a particularly troubling and challenging consumer protection issue, identity theft.

•Identity theft occurs when an individual’s personal information, such as their name, Social Security number or credit card number is used without their consent to commit fraud and other crimes. Identity thieves commonly use the phone, postal mail, email and the Internet to trick unsuspecting consumers into giving out personal information.
•Many victims of identity theft are unaware that their information has been compromised until they are denied credit or sent a bill for purchases they did not make. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida has the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints in the nation.

Minimize Your Risk of Becoming a Victim

Prevent identity theft by safeguarding your information. Shred financial documents and paperwork, protect your Social Security number, never click on links sent in unsolicited emails and keep your personal information in a safe place.

Never give out personal information unless you are certain you know who you’re dealing with or you initiated the contact.

Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and review them for discrepancies, such as accounts that you’re unaware of or inaccuracies of your information.

Legal Shred
11806 S US Hwy 41
Gibsonton, FL 33534