GREENSBORO, N.C. — What happens when you discover someone has opened up credit cards in your name? Identity theft happens all the time. You need to report it to the Federal Trade Commission so that you can get it sorted out.
But how about we don't even get into that situation? The best way to keep thieves from opening up credit cards, accounts, and loans in your name (and sticking you with the bill) is to freeze your credit.
Freeze your credit
Freezing credit is free and it keeps the bad guys from opening up accounts. It still allows you, the adult, to use your credit cards.
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348//1-800-685-1111
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013//1-888-397-3742
TU Protected Consumer Freeze
P.O. Box 380 Woodlyn, PA 19094//1-800-916-8800
Child Credit Freezes
The first thing you want to do is check to see if your child has a credit report. This will tell you if their identity has already been compromised.
Checking your child’s credit starts online, you will print out and fill out your info as the parent, their info as the kid along with copies of your driver's license...your child's birth certificate, and the child's social security card.
You then will mail it all in. By law, it has to be done that way.
It's not a quick process, but can you imagine your kid turning 18, applying for a school loan, and then finding out someone has been using their credit? It happens.
You want to check and freeze with each credit bureau.
To make sure identity theft doesn’t happen, you can pro-actively freeze your child's credit so no one can open any kind of credit in their name.
According to Experian: There's no reason for most children to have credit reports since it's illegal for anyone under 16 to apply for a loan or credit card in their own name. Fraudulent loan and credit card applications can generate credit reports, however, and by the time you or the child discovers them, they could be full of unpaid accounts.
SHRED YOUR DOCUMENTS FOR FREE
The WFMY News 2 shred is Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Bring three boxes or bags to the Greensboro Coliseum from 4 pm – 7 pm. It's free and your documents won't be able to be put back together.