If you are concerned about Equifax's data breach, now is the time to freeze your credit.
Hundreds of millions of identities are exposed to identity theft each year. In a recent study, it was found that: "10.2% of children had someone else using their Social Security number. This is 51 times higher than the 0.2% rate for adults". A child's Social Security number was used more often than an adults for a variety of reasons. A child's Social Security number is very enticing to thieves because it is unused and can be paired with any name and birth date. In addition, a child's identity can be used for years before being detected.
To know if your child has been a victim of identity theft, check to see if your child has a credit report. It is important to check all three of the credit reporting agencies as the reports are not identical.
The Federal Trade Commission announced a significant update to the one-stop website, IdentityTheft.gov. The update comes as a response to President Obama's 2014 executive order directing federal agencies to create a consolidated site to aid consumers.
IdentityTheft.gov now guides consumers through filing a complaint with the FTC and then provides a personalized recovery plan designed to address the specific identity theft complaint at hand.
Federal Law Aids Consumers in Fixing Credit Reports Due to Identity Theft
When an identity is stolen, the theft usually leads to the fraudulent use of personal identifying information. The use of stolen information such as name, Social Security number, and date of birth fall victim to identity theft when used to obtain electricity, gas, open a checking account, and even attain employment.
When new accounts are open, thieves usually don't stick around to see their financial obligations through. In turn, furnishers start reporting negative information to the credit reporting agencies. The new information gets assigned to a credit file that matches the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of an innocent, now victimized, consumer.
G. John Cento of Cento Law LLC presents on Identity Theft, a Summary of Consumer Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, on November 13, 2013 to employees of the United Way in downtown Indianapolis.