Social Security Number Used to Open Credit Cards

Father tickling daughter on porch
Dear Experian,

Someone is using my five-year-old daughter's Social Security number. They already have two credit cards open under her number. What should I do?

- REN

Dear REN,

Just because someone has used your daughter's Social Security number does not necessarily mean that they have stolen her entire identity or that she will have a credit report in her name. However, you certainly want to confirm that the accounts are not matched to her in any other way.

Steps to Take If You Think Your Child May Be a Victim of Fraud

Your first step should be to file a police report. A police report will help speed fraud assistance process when working with creditors and the credit reporting companies.

Your second step is to request your daughter's credit reports and add 90-day security alerts to them if they exist. You can find instructions to request her report in Experian's online Fraud Center under "Minor child instructions."

If she has a credit report in her name, you will be able to immediately identify the fraudulent accounts. With the police report you will be able to add a seven-year victim statement to the credit report, and Experian will be able to proactively begin removing the accounts.

The credit report will also help you identify and contact lenders reporting fraudulent accounts, which is the third step. They may ask for a copy of the police report, have you complete fraud affidavits and provide additional information during their fraud resolution processes.

Monitor Credit Reports for Signs of Fraud

After taking those actions, you should monitor your daughter's credit history regularly, at least once a year, if not more frequently.

It's also important to carefully monitor your mail correspondence in your daughter's name that could indicate fraud, such as product offers, billing statements or collections notices.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

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