Stealing a child’s identity is a horrible crime with terrible consequences for the innocent victim.

I’ve blogged about the problems caused for children when their SSNs are stolen (“Stealing Children’s SSN and their Identities –Despicable Crimes”) as well as the excellent new Maryland law to help parents protect their children (“Child Identity Lock Bill”).

Janna Herron has posted a most helpful May 2nd article on Bankrate.com.  In it, she discusses the “red flags” that should alert parents that their children’s private information has been stolen (www.bankrate.com; “Service to detect child ID theft”).  Ms. Herron talks about AllClearID which is a free service for parents that can help undo some of the damage that’s been done.  Her article is worth reading.

Here are 6 “red flags” that are critical signs that a child’s identity information has been stolen:

  1. A pre-approved credit card arrives in your child’s name;
  2. Loan offers arrive for your child;
  3. Debt collectors start calling looking for your child;
  4. Medical and other bills start arriving in your child’s name;
  5. Government benefits are denied because someone’s using your child’s SSN; and
  6. IRS contacts you about your child’s employment or taxes.

Any one of the above means that you need to act immediately.  Contact one of the credit rating agencies as well as SSA and the IRS.  Ms. Herron’s article has additional useful sites and information.