Identity thieves are continually finding new methods of fraud. A growing concern we have been picking up on recently in the west is people getting hold of and using children’s social security numbers to conduct fraudulent activities.
Fraudsters use the numbers to apply for benefits from the government, open credit and bank accounts and even apply for loans. The numbers can also be used to rent lodgings or a utility service. It makes it important for every parent to search for a credit report. It becomes easy to tell if their child’s information is in any way being misused. Immediate action can therefore follow to resolve any issues that could be there.
When entering schools, the forms require plenty of details of the children they are admitting. It helps to find out how the sensitive information will be collected, used and even stored or disposed after use. Remember the information is protected under law, and you have a right to ask that the school or organization safeguard such sensitive information. It is a simple way of minimizing identity theft cases.
Fraud Warning Signs
Here are a few of the warning signs of a child’s information being used in fraud:
- The child or you are turned down on government benefits. The reason will usually be that someone else is being paid using the social security number in question.
- You receive an official notice claiming that the child did not pay income taxes. It could also be a claim that the social security number has been used on a different tax return.
- You get bills or collection calls for services and products that you never received. They are all telltale signs that something is very wrong.
How to Prevent Child Fraud
There are several ways you can use to protect your child’s identity from being misused in fraud. You can start by finding a safe and secure location or storage for electronic records and papers which contain all personal details of the child. It minimizes the risk of the documents falling into the wrong hands.
Ensure that you do not share the Social Security Number of your child with anyone unless it is a party that you trust fully. You should find out why such details are needed and how they will be protected from any form of circulation. If there is an alternative identifier, you can see if it is possible to use that one. You can also ask (at least in some countries) that only a few digits of the number be used.
If any documents containing the personal information of the child become invalid or are of no use any longer, shred them or dispose of them properly.
You should take precaution when there is a security breach at school, a break in at home or you have a lost purse, wallet or any paperwork that contained such private and confidential information.
Indonesia Private Investigation Agency (IPIA – http://indonesiadetective.com/ ) and our sister agency Bali Eye Private Investigation Agency (BEPIA – http://balidetective.com/ ) are fully registered agencies offering investigation services to the private and business sectors throughout Indonesia and South East Asia.
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