Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Child Identity Theft

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Children, just like adults, are at risk of being victims of identity theft.

Children are targets for identity thieves because they have a blank credit history and the theft of a child's identity may go undetected for years.

Warning Signs A Child Is A Victim Of Identity Theft

  • The child receives bills in his or her name
  • The child receive credit cards or pre-approved credit card offers
  • The child receive calls from collection agencies
  • A credit report exists in the child’s name
  • The child’s parent receives a notice from the IRS that their child’s name and/or SSN is already listed on another tax return

How Do You Know If Your Child's Identity Has Been Stolen?

One way to tell if your child’s identity has been stolen is by checking their credit report. If there is a credit file or fraudulent information, you’ll want to review it to see if there has been credit opened in your child’s name.

Contact the three major credit bureaus and ask for them to check for files relating to your child’s name and social security number.

Note: Only parents/guardians of children may ask to see a child’s credit file.

How To Help A Child Who Is A Victim Of Identity Theft

Contact the Credit Bureaus

Contact each of the three major credit bureaus and ask them to remove all accounts, inquiries, and collection notices associated with the child’s name. Only parents/guardians of children may ask to remove information from a child’s credit report.

Consider Placing A Fraud Alert

Consider contacting the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) and placing a fraud alert on the child’s credit file.

A fraud alert makes it more difficult for creditors and lenders to issue credit in your child’s name.

Help for Children Whose Parents Steal Their Identity

If you are looking to help a child whose parents may be stealing their identity, we recommend that you contact the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy at www.ocva.wa.gov or (800) 822-1067.