PHOENIX - Do you have young children in the family? When's the last time you checked their credit rating?
If they're 8-12 years old, you probably never thought to check.
But, kid's Social Security numbers are being stolen at an early age. And a lot of people don't discover it, until they're old enough to use credit.
Data Doctor's Ken Colburn says that information is sold to thieves online.
"A fresh ID new to the planet is highly valued and sells for much more than an older person," Colburn says.
Thieves could use a new Social Security number to apply for credit cards, rent a home, get government benefits, even invent a person who doesn't exist.
There are obvious warning signs later, like being turned down for government benefits because they're being paid to another account.
Your child may also get an IRS notice for unpaid taxes.
But less obvious signs include getting junk mail in your child's name.
That means their information is somehow out there.
Exposure can happen wherever Social Security numbers are used like at medical visits and schools.
Ask about their privacy policies.
If you suspect a problem, check the credit bureaus to see if any credit rating is attached to your child's Social Security number.
for annualcreditreport.com. You three free credit reports yearly, one from each of the three reporting agencies.