When Justin and I found out that we were having a baby, we were flooded with excitement as well as a mile long task list-like any new parent. We talked about the logistics of getting a bigger apartment, which pediatricians we would interview, whether or not we would use cloth or disposable diapers, and whether or not to stagger our baby’s vaccinations-to name very few.
Before Zoe and Beau were born, the conversations started anew… We talked about the new things we needed to get, how to rearrange the furniture, and how our lives would change. One thing we have never discussed at length is child identity theft. Even to this day, after a major robbery happened within our immediate family where everything down to passports was taken, it’s not something that we’ve been aware of or considered a threat.
After signing up to be a part of the Identity Guard campaign, I listened to personal stories and read all about child ID theft, and I can tell you that it was beyond convincing to me. A child’s clean credit record provides an identity thief with the means to open credit accounts in the child’s name, and to use the child’s Social Security number to secure employment or even rent an apartment.
So, I presented a few facts to my husband to engage him in conversation about looking into protecting our children.
Each year, thousands of incidents of identity theft victims under the age of 18* are reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) . In 2009 alone, 19,000 incidents of child identity theft were reported as figures from the SSA show. Through a variety of means, identity thieves may deliberately capture and use a child’s SSN, or fabricate a SSN that coincidentally has been assigned to a child, in order to obtain employment, apply for government benefits, open new accounts, or apply for car loans or even mortgages. One study has estimated that 142,0002 instances of identity fraud are perpetrated on minors in the United States each year.
It certainly was enough information to look into protecting our children and what the cost of doing something like that would be.
We looked at a variety of articles and blog posts by Identity Guard® about child identity theft. There are endless links and resources found on the site, including In the Dark about Identity Theft? a blog post by Joe Mason. Everything we found was not only interesting, but also certainly convincing. It’s one of those things that feels obvious after you think about it, but not something that is talked about enough to drive significant engagement just yet.
It’s worth noting that the service I’m working with, Identity Guard, has been around for more than a decade. It seems like everything is online now-which is still something that I’m trying to get used to as someone who basically grew up alongside the internet itself. I expect everything I need to be available at the touch of a button, especially in terms of information, but I haven’t spent much time researching the risks involved. It’s comforting to know that this company has been around for awhile and really knows what they’re doing.
We were relieved to be able to try the service and felt like it was an important thing to do for our children and securing their future. While we fortunately haven’t had any issues with ID Theft (knock on wood!), I do wish it would have been something that was involved in those first conversations, as I do think it’s a relevant concern.
This service and the book Bankrupt at Birth were provided to me for review at no charge. In addition I received monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.