Clark Howard: Protect your child’s identity, freeze their credit

Jacksonville, Fl. — Calling it the silent crime, Consumer Warrior Clark Howard is urging parents and grandparents to be proactive when it comes to protecting their child’s identity.

Citing a recent report by the Javelin Strategy and Research, Clark says one million children have had their identity stolen and two-thirds of them were under the age of eight-years-old.

Clark says in most cases it’s a family acquaintance or even a family member themselves who is committing what he calls a ‘silent crime.’

"Think about what in the world is going through a family member or a friend's mind that they would steal the identity and cause havoc for years to come in the life of a minor child."

Clark calls this a silent crime because many families are not aware that their child’s identity has been stolen until they get a call from debt collectors. In some cases, if this isn’t caught it could also one day prevent a child from getting financial aid and even entering college once they turn 18 or 19-years-old.

LISTEN: Clark Howard's latest podcast. 

To prevent this from happening to a child again or to just protect their identity, Clark suggests freezing their credit.

"The credit can be put into a deep-freeze and the credit is shut down. And then when a child reaches the point where they are going to start applying for credit, that's when the freeze can be lifted."

There will be a lot of paperwork for a parent/guardian to go through so Clark wants to make sure you are prepared for plenty of paperwork.

CLICK HERE: Clark’s Credit Freeze Guide.

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