Children are becoming the new target of choice for ID Thefts.
That’s the warning among cybersecurity experts. Still, when it comes to protecting your kids, the law is on your side in the Carolinas and Georgia, but only if you know how to take advantage of it.
Cameron Hughes in Spartanburg knows just how damaging ID theft can be to a person’s life.
“I had a friend whose ID was stolen and she just recently got everything settled and it took about 20 years,” she said.
And yet this mother admits, she’s never really thought to protect her son.
“I don’t think about my child’s social security number being out there to have it stolen.”
The reality is health providers, toy companies, even schools are increasingly becoming victims of hacks. And that can be one way your child’s social security number can get into the wrong hands.
The Identity Theft Resource Center gets hundreds of calls every year about child victims. And the non-profit says kids are becoming a preferred target because the theft often goes undetected until a child reaches adulthood.
“The single best tool out there is the security freeze law for minors. And SC has this law that allows a parent to notify those three agencies that they want to put a freeze on the credit report, and if they do that it’s free, doesn’t affect the credit report, it’s something that happens very quickly and it can be snapped on and snapped off,” said Attorney Jay Anthony.
HOW TO PLACE A SECURITY FREEZE: You must contact all 3 of the major credit reporting agencies
We checked and found out only 23 states in the nation have this law. Fortunately for local parents that includes both Carolinas and Georgia.
“I didn’t know about that, so I think it should be more well known and people should do it, it’s free so why not,” said Hughes.
Here’s how you can check for the presence of a credit file on a minor.