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.
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.