Is it ideal to freeze your child’s account? This is the question on the lips of most parents who wish to protect their children/ child from potential fraud.
For some time now, identity theft has been on the increase with more than a million children reported to be victims of identity theft in 2017 for a total of $2.8 billion in losses. Most of these children are underage which has made it pertinent to freeze your child’s account to protect them from potential fraud. It is a wise option.
Is It Ideal To Freeze Your Child’s Account? (Reasons Why You Should)
Children are susceptible to identity theft because they have all the required components an identity thief is looking for. This includes a valid social security number, name, and address. These children may not be aware of any identity theft or fraudulent activities on their credit reports until they get to age 18 and apply for their first credit card.
Freezing your child’s credit helps prevent your child’s identity from being used to open fake accounts, obtain false loans and mortgages, as well as other fraud activities.
It is also necessary to note that children are also becoming victims of synthetic identity theft. What this means is that synthetic identity thief uses their social security number but a fake name and address, which makes it harder to track and even financial aid fraud for the college-aged set.
How To Freeze Your Child’s Credit
The good news is, you can freeze your child’s credit for free at the three major credit reporting agencies. They are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It is advised that you freeze your child’s credit with all three bureaus.
At Equifax: Here you are required to mail a physical copy of the form, along with physical copies of the following: one form of identification for the parent or guardian, legal doc stating you are the parent or guardian and both the minor’s social security card and birth cert.
At Experian: You are to provide both you and the minor’s name, social security number, date of birth, current mailing address, any addresses in the past two years, and physical copies of the minor’s birth certificate and social security card, a copy of government-issued ID, a copy of utility bill, bank statement or insurance statement.
At TransUnion: TransUnion needs a written request to freeze your child’s credit, proof that you are the legal guardian, like a birth certificate or court order, and copies of both your social security cards, birth certificates, or driver’s licenses or government IDs.
What You Should Note
Freezing your child’s account is lengthy and will require lots of paperwork. The process is done via snail mail and can take a few weeks to get a freeze.
You may be required to send sensitive personal documents via mail, which poses some identity theft risk.
Freezing your child’s account does not eliminate them from synthetic identity theft, which uses your child’s social security number with a false name and address.
For some states, a credit freeze expires after 7 years, thus you are to ensure that you know what your state rules are, because you may need to refreeze your child’s credit after seven years.
Now you have all the details. The choice is yours to make whether or not to freeze your child’s account. This will help. Drop your hint for more details. Thanks for your time.