Identity Thieves Target Tennessee Children

Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 19, 2018

No one is off limits when it comes to identity theft. Some criminals are targeting victims who aren't even old enough to talk.

All a criminal needs is your child's social security number. That's all it takes to ruin your son or daughter's credit score.

A nationwide survey found one million kids were victims of identity theft in 2017. That includes victims right here in Tennessee. In face, the Tennessee High Patrol Identity Crimes Unit says it has seen an uptick in these sort of crimes.

These criminals are using random social security numbers to open up credit card accounts. Unfortunately, by the time parents discover what has happened the damage has already been done.

The Identity Crimes Unit is currently dealing with families whose children have fallen victim to identity theft, but there things you can do to avoid becoming the next victim.

"As a parent you have an option that you can go contact Experian, Trans Union or Equifax and you can freeze your child's credit report. That's simply done by contacting all three credit bureaus," said Lt. Bill Miller, Tennessee Highway Patrol.

After contacting the bureaus, you will be given a password to keep confidential.

Once your child is ready to build credit the credit report can be restored with that password. But keep in mind, your credit report can only be restored with that password.

You can also check your credit report or your child's once a year, if you do not want to freeze their report through the three bureaus.