Defending Your Kids from Id Theft


Id theft is usually a main trouble to take care of. When an unscrupulous individual takes your private info and makes use of it to open new bank cards, financial institution accounts, loans, or different monetary providers and bails on the money owed they accrue, it could possibly break your credit score.

Nevertheless, adults aren’t the one targets of identification theft. Minors may also be focused for identification theft scams that depart their credit score scores in tatters earlier than they even ever take into consideration opening a checking account.

However wait, can a minor also have a credit score rating? How are youngsters focused for identification theft? What are you able to do to guard your youngsters?

Let’s check out how one can shield them from morally void rip-off artists.

Can a Minor Have a Credit score Rating?

The reply to this query is: “not sometimes.” Most minors don’t have a credit score rating or credit score historical past since they can’t open bank cards or take out loans of their title. In spite of everything, they’re minors and are thus unable to enter into binding authorized agreements with banks or different lenders.

A toddler could be thought of a minor in the event that they haven’t but reached the age of majority on your province, which is eighteen in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan and 19 in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon. 

Even when they aren’t capable of open bank cards or loans in their very own title simply but, it’s vital to train your children (particularly teenagers) about credit score—what it’s, construct it, and the way it will help them sooner or later.

A minor might possess a credit score rating or historical past if:

  • They’ve been the sufferer of identification theft and the fraudster opened bank cards or utilized for loans utilizing their title.
  • They’ve tried to use for bank cards or monetary providers themselves.
  • Their information has been compromised in a knowledge breach and resold to different organizations (even with out fraudulent transaction makes an attempt).

How Kids Are Focused for Id Theft

Since youngsters don’t have credit score scores or historical past, would they even be a goal for fraudsters that need to make a fast buck or entry monetary providers they wouldn’t in any other case qualify for? Sadly, sure, they do make good targets for monetary fraudsters. As famous by Equifax, a toddler’s lack of credit score historical past “signifies that they current a clean slate for fraudsters who can apply for credit score and take out loans of their title.”

However, how do fraudsters get all the info they should goal your youngsters for identification theft? There are some things fraudsters would possibly do to trick you, your youngsters, or the assorted companies you belief along with your little one’s info into surrendering it to them to allow them to commit their crimes.

For instance, an identification thief would possibly:

  • Use Phishing Methods. By posing as an authority determine or as a consultant of a monetary establishment, a fraudster can coax delicate info out of the unsuspecting. They could attempt to name you to inform you about “suspicious exercise in your or your little one’s account” and ask you for particulars like their title, date of delivery, account quantity, and many others. to “verify” it whereas they “work to resolve the scenario.”
  • Purchase Stolen Info On-line. There’s a hidden model of the web referred to as the “Darkish Internet,” the place cybercriminals purchase and promote stolen information and different providers utilizing particular nameless internet browsers like The Onion Router (TOR) to cover their exercise from authorities. Private info collected throughout information breaches of hospitals, companies, and even authorities entities could be put up for public sale on these websites. Crooks should purchase this info and use it to commit identification theft in opposition to you, and even your little one.
  • Steal Information from Companies and Authorities Entities Immediately. Corporations may need extra delicate details about you than you would possibly initially suppose. Fraudsters could attempt to steal this information immediately from them to get the data they should commit identification theft.

These are only a few of the ways in which a felony would possibly get ahold of your little one’s identification to allow them to leverage it for fraud. Defending minors’ credit score scores is one thing that almost all mother and father wouldn’t even take into consideration, nevertheless it might aid you protect your little one’s monetary future.

So, you come dwelling at some point after work and discover a bank card supply within the mail. It’s a typical sufficient state of affairs. Nevertheless, while you learn it, it isn’t addressed to “present resident” or your title, it’s in your underage little one’s title. In some way, your little one now has a credit score historical past that’s producing bank card and mortgage gives.

What do you do? One choice is to file for Social Insurance coverage Quantity (SIN) alerts on your little one with the foremost credit score bureaus. What does this do and the way do you do it?

What Is SIN Safety?

SIN safety is a request you possibly can put in with the foremost credit score bureaus to ship an alert to the lending company when somebody tries to make use of your (or your little one’s) Social Insurance coverage Quantity for any purpose. This will help to guard your little one from identification theft by making the financial institution or bank card firm conscious that the request being made wants extra scrutiny and due diligence—making it more durable for criminals to steal identities unnoticed.

How you can File for SIN Safety

To file for SIN alerts, you’re going to should undergo a course of with every of the foremost credit score bureaus. In Canada, that’s Equifax and TransUnion. Each entities have their very own processes and types to fill out to use for these alerts. 

Equifax Course of for SIN Safety 

  • Attain out to their name centre 1-800-871-3250.
  • You’ll require 2 types of ID of the guardian/guardian and a photocopy of a Energy of Lawyer.
  • They’ll e-mail affirmation of the alert.
  • There isn’t any price.
  • If somebody tries to use for credit score utilizing that SIN quantity, they’ll see that there’s an alert and can know that they should take extra steps for his or her due diligence.

TransUnion Course of for SIN Safety/Fraud Alerts

  • Mail a written request together with photocopies of two ids for the guardian and a duplicate of the paperwork proving the kid’s SIN.
    • Mailing tackle:
      • Transunion Canada
        PO Field 338, LCD1, Hamilton, ON, L8L7W2
  • You may be notified/alerted of confirmed exercise at your mailing tackle anytime inside 30 days.
  • The warning will keep lively on file for 1 12 months and it’ll alert the collectors to take affordable steps to verify your (or your little one’s) identification in the event that they obtain any software for credit score.

It is vital to notice that the 2 credit score bureaus don’t share info with one another. So, you will have to do that course of for every credit score bureau individually. It’s not sufficient to file a request with only one credit score bureau. 

Earlier than contacting the credit score bureaus, it could assist to collect documentation proving your relationship to your little one, comparable to your and your little one’s government-issued IDs, delivery certificates, energy of legal professional, courtroom orders, or foster care certification. 

Different Methods to Defend Your Youngster from Id Theft

A SIN safety alert is only one manner to assist shield your little one from fraud and identification theft. There are quite a few different issues you are able to do to guard your youngsters from identification theft or to identify doable identification theft early so you possibly can take corrective motion.

Another issues you are able to do embody:

1. By no means Sharing Your Youngster’s Social Insurance coverage Quantity with Anybody

As famous by the Authorities of Canada, your Social Insurance coverage Quantity (SIN) “is confidential. Don’t use it as identification or present it for job functions, rental functions, and many others.” For instance, whereas an employer would possibly want your SIN after hiring you, they shouldn’t be requesting it throughout the job software course of (it isn’t unlawful for them to ask, however they don’t want it till they rent you).

The identical goes on your little one’s SIN. You must by no means present their SIN until it’s for a particular objective—comparable to submitting for presidency applications and advantages. You’ll be able to examine with the Social Insurance coverage Quantity Code of Observe webpage to see which authorities applications are allowed to make use of your SIN.

2. Monitor Your Kids’s On-line Exercise

Are you aware what web sites your children are visiting and whether or not they’re sharing delicate info with strangers on-line? Are they spending $1,000 in your bank card in on-line video games with loot packing containers or different microtransactions? Are strangers asking them questions on the place they reside and different issues that can be utilized to commit fraud (or worse)?

Whereas it’s vital to offer your children some privateness, it’s equally vital to set boundaries that shield them from malicious on-line actors. Think about taking steps like proscribing which web sites their laptop’s internet browser can go to to a preapproved record of secure websites, not linking your bank card to their on-line gaming profiles, and reviewing secure internet looking and laptop use finest practices with them.

3. Train Your Youngsters about Cash and Credit score

Serving to your children study cash—its worth, the way it’s earned, and shield it—is a vital step in defending their monetary future. For instance, you may train them about credit score constructing and the way having a bank card helps them construct a repute with banks and lenders whereas additionally being a serious danger and duty that may affect their lives for higher or worse.

Different stuff you would possibly need to speak to them about embody:

  • How you can create a month-to-month funds
  • Why it’s vital to pay bank cards off every month
  • Methods to restrict their on-line spending
  • Instruments they will use to assist them handle their cash
  • How you can determine scams and keep away from them

Need assistance with debt, need recommendation about coping with scams, or need to know extra about management your funds so you possibly can assist your youngsters? Attain out to Credit score Canada for help!

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