Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

In a blog I guest contribute to called “NextAdvisor” they offer the following advice on child identity theft protection:

The following post in our Reader Question series is an actual user submitted question.

Q: I found out that someone used my grandson’s Social Security number to get phone service. How can I stop this? He’s only 11 years old.

A: If someone has used or is using a child’s Social Security number to secure a service, the child is a victim of identity theft. You should file a report with a local police department immediately. Having a police report will make it easier to have the fraudulent item or items removed from the child’s credit report. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

You should also call the phone company to inform them that the service has been fraudulently obtained using a minor’s Social Security number. If you are your grandson’s legal guardian, you can request a copy of his credit report from all three credit bureaus, and ask that fraudulent items be removed and that his credit report be frozen until he turns 18. If you are not your grandson’s legal guardian, one of his parents will need to make this request.

When a parent or legal guardian contacts a credit bureau on their child’s behalf, they need to provide the child’s complete name, address, and date of birth, and copies of the child’s birth certificate and Social Security number. The parent or guardian must also provide a copy of their own drivers license or other government-issued proof of identity, including their current address, and a utility bill containing the current address.

Here is the contact information for the three credit bureaus:

Experian
(888)397-3742
http://www.experian.com

Experian
PO Box 9532
Allen , TX 75013

Equifax
(800) 658-1111
http://www.equifax.com

Equifax
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta , GA 30348

TransUnion
(800) 916-8800
http://www.transunion.com

TransUnion
PO Box 6790
Fullerton , CA 92834”

And my advice. For your own good, protect your identity. Get a credit freeze. Go to ConsumersUnion.org and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.

Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft protection can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)

Robert Siciliano identity theft speaker discussing child identity theft on NBC Boston

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