ITRC Solution 5
If there are indications that your child’s Social Security Number has been compromised and used for financial gain, you must contact the three Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) in writing. A minor under the age of 18 should not have a credit report. Therefore, if one exists it will contain information that does not match the correct information of the minor child.
Due to the dramatic increase in data breaches related incidents and exposure of sensitive personal identifiable information, the landscape has changed and child identity theft is something all parents need to be alert for. Thieves target children because they have clean credit reports where they can take advantage of the credentials without it going noticed for a long period of time. We’re also beginning to see more cases related to synthetic identity theft. The biggest risk here is that child identity theft can go on undetected for years unless parents notice red flags. Call and request to speak to an individual to request a credit report for your child, but only if you suspect that your child is a victim of identity theft. If you’re told that there is no credit report, this is probably not a case of identity theft.
There are some cases that appear to be identity theft but are not. Receiving a pre-approved credit card offer in your child’s name might be upsetting; however, it might only be an innocent marketing tool sent by an affiliate of your bank because you opened a college fund or savings account for your child. We recommend that you opt-out of all marketing lists with the bank when you open an account.
All correspondence should be mailed certified, return receipt. This correspondence should include:
- A cover letter including the full name of the child, the child’s date of birth and previous addresses for the last five years.
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate.
- A copy of the parent’s state identification card, such as a driver’s license or state/military issued photo identification card.
- A copy of the child’s Social Security card.
If the requestor is a guardian, but not a parent, he/she should state that and additionally include any documentation that legally appoints them as the guardian.
If you do not get a response from the CRAs within 30 days after getting your return receipt postcard, please file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).
Write to: TransUnion
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
They ask parents to include:
- Full name of the parent or legal guardian, current address, and daytime telephone number.
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate listing the parent as a parent
- A copy of the child’s Social Security card
- Your cover letter should include the full name of the child, the child’s date of birth and current address (may ask for previous addresses as well).
- A copy of the parent’s own ID card, such as driver’s license or state/military issued photo identification card.
- If the requestor is a guardian, but not a parent, he or she should state that and additionally include any documentation that would legally appoint them as the guardian.
In response, TransUnion will mail out a copy of the credit report, if one exists, or a letter stating they have no file. TransUnion does not recommend that parents start doing this just to check and see. They should have some reason to believe that the child’s identity may have been used. The reason for that belief can also be included in the request.
In addition, TransUnion has set up a special email address for parents and guardians to use: firstname.lastname@example.org. TransUnion will give you a yes or no answer to the question of: does a credit file exist in the following name and/or Social Security Number? Also, parents can use TransUnion’s secure online form to make the inquiry.
Write to: Experian
PO Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013.
They ask parents to include the following in their letter:
- A copy of the parent’s Driver’s License
- Proof of their address (i.e. utility bill, credit card statement, insurance statement, etc.)
- A copy of their child’s birth certificate
- A copy of their child’s Social Security card
- Their child’s full name
- Their child’s date of birth
- Previous addresses for the last five years, if appropriate
Upon receipt of the items listed above, they’ll search their system and send a response back to the parent.
Write to: Equifax
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, Georgia 30374
Please include the following in your request:
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate
- A copy of the child’s Social Security card
- The child’s address
- The child’s full name
- The child’s date of birth
Upon receipt of the documents listed above, Equifax will attempt to locate a file for the minor child and place an alert on the child’s Social Security number. Once Equifax’s research is complete, they will send a response back to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
ITRC Fact Sheet FS 120 – Child Identity Theft
ITRC Fact Sheet FS 120A – To Order a Child’s Credit Report
ITRC Fact Sheet FS 120B – Child Identity Theft Indicators
ITRC Letter Form LF 120 – Requesting a Child’s Credit Report
This fact sheet should not be used in lieu of legal advice. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individual victims for their own use, should be directed to email@example.com.