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Why You Should Check Your Kids’ Credit [AUDIO]

Adam Berry, Getty Images

Identity theft is evolving and you would be well-served to keep up with that evolution. I.D. thieves are finding new ways to steal social security numbers and if you’ve never thought to check your child’s credit report it might be time you did think about that. Recent reports reveal that I.D. thieves are using computers to troll the cyber universe in search of random social security numbers. It’s a growing problem and if a child’s number is stolen, that kid is unlikely to know it until he or she applies for a college or car loan or tries to get a credit card. By that time, a lot of damage may have already been done.

Rider University finance professor Maury Randall says there’s one way to guard against this. He explains, “Probably the easiest way is to periodically get a free credit report. Consumers are entitled to get these reports as long as they don’t do it too often so this would be an inexpensive way……..That’s probably the easiest way to monitor and probably the cheapest way of monitoring whether or not a social security number has been stolen for that purpose.”

Randall recommends that parents increase the frequency of the credit checks as their children get nearer to adulthood because that’s when they will be at the age where they will start applying for things that require good credit.

“I’ve never heard of anybody who has encountered this,” acknowledges Randall. “Then again, how many people check into it and they only find out when it’s too late?”

Randall warns parent to be careful when choosing a credit report company. He says it is possible that some firms will try to lure you into signing up for lengthy contract that come at a steep cost.

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