How To Protect Your Child From Identity Theft

This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

More than 1 million children were victims of identity theft or fraud last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. ONE MILLION last year alone and two-thirds of those victims were 7 years old or younger. I was shocked to learn these statistics, mostly because I hadn’t really heard much about child identity theft. Why is so little said about this important topic if it’s so prevalent? I wanted to share some information today in hopes that it would help shine a light on this digital safety concern.

How does child identity theft happen?

Every day, more and more social security numbers for children are sold on the dark web. As parents we try to safeguard our children’s social security numbers (like we do our own) but they still can end up in the wrong hands when we provide them to places that request them like schools, sports, and camps. Personally, I always ask if it’s necessary to write down my child’s social security number in the space provided on forms and, more often than not, I’m told not to worry about it. I wish those places would just remove that request from their forms if it’s not needed!

Why is child identity theft such a growing problem?

Child identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and such an issue because this type of theft can go undetected for years. Parents tend to check their credit often but do not think to do so for their child’s credit because they know their child hasn’t taken out loans, gotten credit cards, or done anything else that would impact their credit. It’s not until the child becomes a young adult and attempts to apply for a car loan or tries to open a credit card and gets denied that they even look at their credit. If someone else used their identity they have to deal with unravelling years and years of defaulted accounts. On top of that, tracking down the person who used their social security number can be an impossible task all those years later.

What can parents do to protect their children?

One of the best things that parents can do for their child’s future financial well-being is monitor their credit now, while their child is young. Parents can get copies of their child’s credit report but that will only detect some types of identity fraud and doesn’t help avoid the headache-inducing frustration of trying to stop identity theft if it’s discovered. Thankfully, there are services like Identron that do all the work for you.

What is Identron?

The Identron identity protection plans offered by Identity Protection Planning are hands down the most comprehensive plans, especially when it comes to family coverage, on the market. Identron monitors your family’s personal information in many ways and also makes sure that none of your personal information is being sold on the dark web. All the plans are bottom line a 1-million-dollar insurance policy and have US based identity recovery experts available to help in the event they are needed. You can see all the plans here but the benefits Identron plans offer include:

As parents it is our job to protect our kids and, nowadays, this includes safeguarding their identities. The Identron plans give parents peace-of-mind knowing that they are protecting their child’s identity from theives who seek to use the child’s personal information for their own benefit.

Help Kids Learn How To Handle Money Wisely

This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

When I was growing up I wasn’t taught much about money and, as a result, I struggled with money issues through my college and early adult years. Because of this, it’s really important to me that my boys learn how to handle money. I don’t want them going through the same money struggles that I did! From saving it to spending it wisely, the earlier that children learn how to be smart with their money the better off they will be.

One financial learning tool I discovered is The Piggy Bank Book, a resource designed to help kids slow down, filter out the noise, and figure out what they really want. By tracking their money, your child will be encouraged to save and take pride in what they’ve accomplished.

It only takes five minutes a week to work through the ledger pages, and it will have a life long impact on how your child spends money.

Spending time working with the Piggy Bank Book will teach your child to thoughtfully purchase instead of mindlessly consume. They will develop a healthy spending habit to take with them into adulthood.

To get The Piggy Bank Book into as many little hands as possible they are running a Kickstarter. Join me in raising money to make sure that children learn the skills they need to make them financially responsible adults. Find more details and pledge to help here.

 

Illinois Residents: Reclaim Your Money

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored but all thoughts are my own.)

Have you ever found money in a pocket of your coat, or the bottom of your purse, that you had forgotten was there? Isn’t that a great feeling?

Now imagine for a minute that it was $10, $100 or even $1,000! Wouldn’t that be amazing? There are hundreds of people every day that get that surprise when they discover money through the Illinois Treasurer’s I-Cash program. The program, founded in 1999, helps Illinois residents recover their unclaimed assets.

The state is currently safeguarding more than $2 billion in cash and 20 million shares of stock and mutual funds that need to be returned. These assets are transferred to the Treasury after banks, government agencies, and other companies become unable to return them to their rightful owners. The I-Cash website is a free and easy way for people to discover if they have cash or other assets to recover.

As soon as I heard about this program I looked up my last name in the database. I didn’t find anything but I did find some money that was a family member’s marked “accounts payable” and another family member had $100 from an insurance company that was owed to her. I then looked up my mom’s name and found she had $10 owed to her marked “Misc Intangible Property”.  When I told my mom she said she’d probably spend the money on a few of her favorite coffee drinks. (Hopefully she’d treat me to one, too!)

With more than 13 million names in the I-Cash database, one in four Illinois adults who search the website discover property to claim. The average claim is about $1000, while the highest claim was more than $8 million in 2012. $8 MILLION dollars to one person. Could you have hundreds or even thousands owed to you? You never know until you check!

CLICK HERE TO SEE IF YOU HAVE LOST MONEY!