RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) --If you have little ones running around, one of the last things on your mind is their credit score. Most people don't even consider a child's credit score until he or she is at least 16 years old.
According to Identify Theft Resource Center, many scammers are using this to their advantage.
According to ITRC, child identity theft cases are common because of the "lengthy time between the fraudulent use of the child's information and the discovery of the crime."
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR:
- You or your child might be turned down for government benefits because your child's social security number is being used somewhere else.
- You might get an IRS notice saying that your child did not pay income taxes.
- Collection calls for services or products you didn't receive.
An easy way to determine whether or not your child's information is at risk is to check whether or not they have a credit report.
WAYS TO PREVENT ID THEFT:
- Keep all documents, paper and electronic, in a safe place if they have your child's personal information.
- Shred all documents with personal information before throwing them out.
- Pay attention to forms from your child's school.
You should also be cautious and aware of situations that put information at risk:
-Losing a wallet or purse.
-Break-in at your home, school, or doctor's office where your child's information could have been involved.
-An adult in your household might want to use a new identity to start over.
PROTECTING A CHILD'S ID:
A new North Carolina law grants parents or guardians the ability to freeze a child's credit. The law allows parents of children under 16 and guardians of incapacitated adults to implement a Protected Security freeze on the child or adult's behalf.
Click here for more information on how to freeze your child's credit.
For more information on warning signs and preventing child identity theft, click here.