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Parent-Child Identity Theft

Are you looking to learn more about how to protect your and your children's identity?

We expect an unknown criminal to steal our identities, but it’s often a relative - even your own parent or child.

As a mom of 4, I know how very important it is to help protect myself as well as our kids from identity theft. There are so many ways that people can steal your kids’ information, but here are is some things to keep in mind to protect yourself and your kids.

Why do parents steal their children’s identities and vice versa?

In Lexington Law’s experience, parents will steal their children’s identities (and vice versa) because of their own economic circumstances. For example, perhaps mom or dad is struggling to make ends meet and doesn’t have good enough credit to get a loan or credit card on their own, so out of desperation they open one with their child’s social security number.

When do children typically find out their identity is stolen?

Oftentimes, a child doesn’t find out they’re a victim of identity theft until they turn 18 and try to get their first credit card, mortgage, or car loan. 

Here are some of the effects of identity theft:
The resulting bad credit could mean an inability to get loans, credit cards, insurance, and even employment. Identity theft can negatively impact many areas of your life, so it’s important to do what you can to lower the likelihood of it happening to yourself or the ones you care about.

Here are some Warning Signs of Identity Theft:
- Credit card applications or pre-approvals addressed to your child.
- An existing credit report for your child, as credit records can’t be legally established until age 18.
- Collection calls for purchases you didn’t make
- Tax issues, such as the IRS denying your ability to claim your child as a dependent due to an identity thief already using their ID as an adult

Here’s how to protect yourself:
Be very cautious about who you give share you or your child’s personally identifying information to. Don’t share this information with your siblings, children, or grandparents, etc, and only give it out when it’s absolutely necessary, such as when applying for public benefits or a driver’s license. It’s also a good idea to check your credit reports regularly to ensure all data is accurate and there aren’t any changes that you didn’t authorize.

What to do if it happens to you:
When identity theft occurs, existing credit lines could be run up to, or over, their limits, new accounts opened with possible late payments made on these accounts, and hard inquiries from those trying to open credit lines in your name.  

If you suspect you or your child is a victim of identity theft (or just want to do everything you can to protect your family from the chances of identity theft), Lex OnTrack, a credit repair and identity theft protection service from Lexington Law, can help.  As the only legal-backed credit repair resource for consumers and the only product on the market that combines both identity theft protection and credit repair, you can trust Lexington Law to help you get your credit report and score back on track. Their services have helped more than half a million consumers correct errors on their credit reports, such as bankruptcies, tax liens, late payments, and other items that cause bad credit.

You can learn more about Lexington Law at their website. You can also find more credit, identity theft, and financial advice and tips on their blog.

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