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9 ways to combat child identity theft

Protect your child's Social
Protect your child's Social | Kameleon007/Getty Images

Protect your child's Social

Your child's Social Security number can be a huge prize for identity thieves. With it they can create a new identity, set up credit accounts and start racking up debt.

Credit reports aren't supposed to be set up for minors, but this detail often slips through the cracks, says Steve Weisman, an attorney who blogs about scams and ID theft at Scamicide.com.

Identity thieves lie about age, and according to Scott Mitic, former CEO of the identity protection and privacy service TrustedID, "There is not a single way in that space to be definitive about the age of the individual creating the report."

You are your child's key line of defense, so don't carry your kid's Social Security number around in your wallet. If you mail documents with your child's personal information, drop it in a secure mailbox. Shred documents with this identifying information.

Share your child's Social Security number only when absolutely necessary. When extracurricular groups ask for it, see if they'll accept an alternative identifying number. "Social Security numbers typically don't need to be shared unless there are tax implications," according to TrustedID.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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