Equifax

Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter

 

Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Protecting the Innocent: The Basics of Child Identity Theft

Written by Peter Schoenrock on March 26, 2012 in Credit  |   5 comments

In our cyber-connected world, we’re increasingly at risk of data breaches, hackers, phishing scams, and all manner of identity theft. While many adults have learned to keep their Social Security number protected and to not give out personal information over the internet or phone, a…

In our cyber-connected world, we’re increasingly at risk of data breaches, hackers, phishing scams, and all manner of identity theft. While many adults have learned to keep their Social Security number protected and to not give out personal information over the internet or phone, a new victim of identity theft and fraud is on the rise—our children.

Children are at risk because they have a clean slate. They have no credit history or debts, and that makes them an attractive target to identity thieves and scam artists. People are looking to rebuild their life with a fresh start, and a child’s clean credit report may provide them with that new (albeit fraudulent) beginning.

In 2011, more than 19,000 child identity theft complaints were reported to the Federal Trade Commission, compared with about 6,000 cases in 2003. And, a 2011 Carnegie Mellon CyLab study on child identity theft looked at identity scans of 40,000 children and found that 10.2 percent had had someone else use their Social Security numbers.

Some perpetrators of child identity theft are friends and family members looking to get around their own bad credit ratings. According to the CyLab report, other primary causes of identity theft can be traced to illegal immigration (to obtain false ID for employment) and organized crime and financial fraud.

Criminals will search for Social Security numbers and run checks to see if the numbers have been used to obtain credit. When they find an unused number, they’ve hit the jackpot. Such numbers—and other personal information—can then be sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Even if you think your child’s Social Security card is protected in your safety deposit box, you might be surprised at the activities that can place his or her personal identification at risk.

According to Marietta Jelks, consumer action handbook manager for the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, children are online more, and they don’t understand the consequences of certain actions. “They’re giving out private information like their phone number or address, and [they] don’t think about the negative implications. They’re not reading privacy statements,” says Jelks.

You trust your children’s doctor’s office and school with their health and safety, but you don’t know what such agencies are doing with your family’s personal information. If you submit a form when you see the doctor or sign your child up for an extracurricular activity, you don’t know who is seeing the information and how it’s kept or destroyed. Jelks also says that parents are placing their children at greater risk when they carry around children’s Social Security cards without keeping track of the materials.

What kind of personal information could put your child at risk for identity theft?

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth/location of birth
  • Address and phone number (present and prior)
  • Student ID number (often easily traced back to a Social Security number)
  • Email address
  • Medical ID number
  • Health insurance ID number
  • Bank account numbers

As your children become teenagers and may have jobs, bank accounts, and email addresses, educate them on the importance of protecting their personal information. While your children are growing up and finding their identity, help them out and make sure to protect their credit and financial identity.

How can you protect your family and children from identity theft?

You can lock up all your paperwork and request that everyone in your life shred every piece of paper with your name on it, but sometimes identity thieves will still find a way to slip through the cracks.

Maryland is considering legislation to become the first state with a law to protect a child’s credit report. This law would allow parents or guardians to create a credit file for a child and immediately freeze it. If the credit report attached to your child’s Social Security number is frozen, an identity thief can’t open credit under your child’s name.

Until more states consider legislation to protect children in this way, you can take action for yourself. The new Equifax Complete™ Family Plan helps families protect themselves from the growing problem of child identity theft.

If you currently protect yourself with the Equifax Complete Premier Plan, you’ll be familiar with the offerings available to you:

  • Monitoring of your credit files with the three credit reporting agencies with alerts of key changes to your credit report sent within 24 hours.
  • Monitoring of your Equifax Credit Score and notification of changes to it.
  • Access to credit scores from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
  • Internet scanning of your personal information.
  • Lost wallet assistance and fraud resolution specialists.
  • Identity theft insurance.

The new Equifax Complete™ Family Plan includes all the above features, but it’s not just for your personal use. You can now add one adults and up to four minor children to this plan.

Have you or your children been victims of identity theft? Over the next few weeks, we’ll cover what to do if you’ve become a victim and ways to protect yourself at the doctor’s office and at tax time. Please leave your questions and comments below.

5 comments

  1. Angela Parker White says:

    My grandchild is 7 years old and I know of one account that has been opened in her name. On this new report, it does not tell me any information as to what is or has been opened in her name. How do I find that out so I can stop or cancel anything that is in her name?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Angela, I’m sorry to hear that your grand daughter’s identity has been stolen. The good news is that you caught it, so let’s get you the tools to fix it. We have a blog with step-by-step directions on how to get your grand daughter’s credit report and how to remove fraudulent items on it. Click here to read it. Let us know how it goes, and thanks for posting.

  2. Clara Presno says:

    My daughters wallet was stolen with her social security inside. What do I do? Please help.
    Thank you.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Clara, You can contact the Social Security Administration Office about how to replace your daughter’s social security card. Since wallets can be lost or stolen, you might want to consider storing the replaced social security card somewhere safe. It’s an important document that you don’t want identity thieves getting their hands on. I hope this helps.

  3. Savaiki Sua says:

    I recently filed my tax but it was denied, because someone else was using my daughters social security number.


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.


Credit Archive