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Not every entity that might ask for it (think: summer camp or the doctor's office) actually requires it."Once it's out of your hands …there's not a lot you can do," said Velasquez.But experts say untangling identity theft and fraud committed against a minor is just as complicated as when an adult is the victim.
(You might share that detail with your estate planner or the person named as guardian in your will, for example.)4.
Monitor for red flags A credit freeze only helps on credit, and there are plenty of other avenues where a Social Security number or other data can be misused, Amissi said.
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Should your toddler receive a jury-duty summons in the mail, or debt collectors start calling for your tween, don't be so quick to dismiss those interactions as a quirk of mistaken identity.
Instead, they've shifted to online transactions and got more savvy, opening new accounts as a means of compromising those consumers already have.
For instance, cybercriminals might pull a consumer's passwords and other personal information from a poorly secured cell phone account and then use the purloined information to open Pay Pal (PYPL) and Amazon (AMZN) accounts.
Lock down documents Familiar fraud is often a crime of opportunity: The perpetrator either already knows or has easy access to a child's Social Security number and other details.
Keep any sensitive personal and financial information out of sight, said Velasquez at ITRC.
So-called synthetic identity theft, where thieves create new identities using a combination of real and fictitious information, is another risk for minors, said Eva Velasquez, chief executive and president of the Identity Theft Resource Center, which helps consumers dealing with such fraud.
The change to randomized Social Security numbers in mid-2011 means a crafty thief could potentially build a profile around a number before there's a victim, she said."We're talking to folks who are having these numbers issued to their kids, and they're already tainted," Velasquez said.