6 Ways to Protect Your Child From Tax Fraud

Many fraudulent tax returns are filed using children's personal information. Take steps to safeguard your family with our expert tips.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Tax fraud is on the rise. And now, it’s affecting your children.

The CyberScout Fraud Resolution Center experienced a tenfold increase in such cases in February 2012 compared with the previous month.

To learn more about this disturbing trend, read our story and blog post.

Follow these six steps to protect your child from tax-related identity theft:

1. Never give out your child’s Social Security number unless you already know and trust the recipient. It is okay to question why they need it, what they will do with it, and how they plan on safeguarding it.
2. Never carry your child’s Social Security card or number in a purse or wallet. Leave it at home in a secure place or in a safety deposit box.
3. Teach your child the risks of providing personal information, such as a SSN or mother’s maiden name, to anyone outside the immediate family. There are people who could be trying to defraud them. Don’t give children their SSNs until they’re old enough to know how to properly use and protect them.
4. Watch out for warning signs, such as credit cards arriving in the child’s name or calls from creditors regarding current and past-due debts.
5. Check your child’s credit report if you suspect identity theft. It’s good news if there is no credit file with your child’s name and SSN. To check if one exists, complete the Child Identity Theft Inquiry with TransUnion, one of the three national credit reporting companies.
6. Shred anything with your child’s personal information. Before putting it in the trash, cross-shred documents with personal identifying information.

If you suspect your identity has been stolen, call your insurer or bank, which might provide LifeStages™ Identity Management Services from CyberScout. Or contact us directly. One of our fraud specialists will guide you and provide practical support until your good name and credit are restored.



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If you need identity theft assistance, call your provider organization to be put in touch with the CyberScout Resolution Center. More information for individual consumers.