Email question of the week: Kids & i.d. theft

NEED TO KNOW
  • Viewer's grandchildren had their Social Security cards stolen
  • What can she do to protect them?
Email question of the week: Kids & i.d. theft

HLN Money Expert Clark Howard answers your questions every night on Evening Express. His email question of the week comes from a viewer who wanted to remain anonymous.

"My daughter-in-law had her purse stolen and my grandchildren's Social Security cards were taken. They are only 2 and 4, but we're worried about identity theft. Is there a way to protect them?"

Clark says this is a messy situation, and a tough one because children under 18 are far more likely to be victims of identity theft than are adults. The good news in this case is we know specifically what happened -- the Social Security cards were taken. Unfortunately, the vast majority of children don't have a credit history, so the three major credit bureaus won't do a credit freeze for a child who's a victim of identity theft.

Clark recommends the website allclearid.com, where you can check if a child's identity has been compromised. In this case, because the crime is recent, check every 90 days for the first year. If everything winds up being OK, then every year on each child's birthday, go back and check again.

If at any point the child's identity has been compromised and someone has opened credit in their name, then you can freeze their credit file.

Learn more about credit freeze here. And if you've got a question for Clark, here's where you can ask it.

Get more great advice from Clark on Evening Express, weeknights from 5 pm to 7 pm on HLN.

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