Identity theft is a huge problem for adults – but did you know that it is actually around 50 times more likely for a child to have their identity stolen? This, according to Kenneth Abbey of the Federal Trade Commission, is why parents should check to see if any of their children have had a credit report about every three to four years. There is no reason that your child should have any type of report at all before the age of 18.

And this is why you should especially check when they are 16 years old. This is because it will give you enough time before your child turns 18 to make sure you can remove any and all credit errors or fraudulent credit reports.

How and why do these child identity thefts take place? It is not uncommon for people to steal a child’s social security number so that they can get better benefits in another state. This story is all too familiar to Neala Elsworth, who said Medi-Cal began denying her kids insurance claims due to three out of four of her kids having another insurance. How is this possible she wondered? The answer was because her children’s social security numbers had been stolen.

You can prevent this type of theft by being extremely safe with your children’s birth certificates, social-security cards, and other personal information that could give a thief what they need to start stealing benefits from your children. Try not to carry them on your person. But if you do, make sure that they remain secure.

Another important prevention tactic is to teach your children not to make this type of personal information available on mobile phones and other mobile devices that are commonly stolen.

To check your child’s credit report, you can submit a request in writing to all three credit bureaus.

For more information on identity theft, check out our entire section on the crime here. To learn more about credit report error removal, visit our credit report errors section.

If you see errors on your credit report, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882. For more information about your credit rights as a consumer, visit our website at for informative, how to videos on consumer financial protection.