Parents warned to watch out for child identity theft

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 6, 2015)-- As a parent, you're probably busy worrying about everything. But have you ever considered checking your child's credit?

Child identity theft cases are popping up across the country and sometimes victims don't find out about it for years when they need their credit.

The president of the Indiana Youth Institute just released a newsletter warning parents about it. He said, according to a recent study by the Identity Theft Assistance Center, child identity theft happens once in every 40 households.

"Parents aren't thinking about checking a credit rating for their seven-year-old and the bad guys know that," said Bill Stanczykiewicz. "A child's information is the prime cut. It's the gold standard. It's the best information they can get their hands on."

He said thieves are looking for social security numbers and birth dates and they can find the latter pretty easily.

"You know if we're wishing our kid a happy birthday on social media, the birth date is one piece of information that the criminals love to utilize," said Stanczykiewicz. "If your very young child is getting marketing information from a bank or credit card company, very likely your child's identity has been stolen."

If your child's identity has been stolen, first report it to local police. Then report it to the Federal Trade Commission. You should also call all of the financial institutions involved immediately to wipe away any charges. At last resort, you can go to your local circuit court to have your child's record cleaned up.