You may worry about your own identity being stolen but recent reports tell us that more than 700,000 children were victims of identity theft last year. One in 40 families will be affected by this, according to the Javelin Strategy and Research Identity Fraud Report. Thieves target children because the crime may go undetected for years until your child gets a driver’s license or applies for their first credit card. Kids also have clean credit records.

I wanted to share tips with you on how to prevent this from happening to your kids. The tips come from Robert Chappell, a police officer who wrote the book, “Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to Know.” The following tips appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

To Help Prevent Identity Theft for Your Child

#1: Contact Equifax, Experian or Transunion and request a credit report rating for each of your children to see if credit has been opened in their name.
#2: Don’t put your child’s social security number on school, medical, insurance or other forms.
#3: Don’t carry your child’s birthdate or social security number in your purse or wallet.
#4: Kids should not put their birthdate or address on social media sites.
#5: Teach your children not to sign up for offers they receive by phone, email or mail that could be scams.
#6: Register your child’s phone number on or call 1-888-382-1222.

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