Identity theft in some form affects tons and tons of people each year. But did you know that it can affect kids as well? And this is whether or not your child has a social security number. Child ID Theft happens when *shady characters* as I like to call them research and find either a child with an existing social security number that they can exploit, or they may even register a phony number on behalf of a child and then use it to apply for credit. Scary huh?
When you are worried about protecting yourself against Identity Theft think about your kids as well. With the right monitoring and protection you can get back on track quickly. If you keep tabs on all of your accounts, the moment you notice something off you can alert the bank or credit card company and get it taken care of. Or, you can do one better. There are services that can monitor yout credit file, cards, accounts, etc. and at the first sign of funny business they put a nix on it.
It is almost tax time, so it is even more important to protect yourself against scams. Here are some things that you can do:
1. Watch out for phishing emails – Do NOT reply to any emails telling you that your bank account, credit card account, or Paypal account has been limited. DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS. If you want to verify the information, log directly into the bank's website and check on your account.
2. Monitor your snail mail box – Keep a lookout for tax forms like 1099’s and W-2’s. Missing or lost documents could be a sign of identity theft and should be investigated immediately.
3. Monitor & closely examine your credit report – This will show every bit of credit that is out there in your name. You will notice right away if there is a credit card or something else on file that you yourself did not apply for.
4. Protect all of your online accounts with strong passwords – I wrote about this not too long ago. Weak passwords are the easiest way to become a victim. Read my post Protecting Your Accounts with Good Passwords for tips.
5. Dispose of old bills & credit card statements, etc. securely – Of course shredding is the best way. You can shred at home, or use a shredding service.
Check out the following video on how Identity Guard can help you keep yourself and your credit safe.
Disclosure: This post is part of my involvement in the kIDSure Ambassador program. Although compensated for this post all opinions are my own.