Sunday, May 8, 2022

How Do I Lock My Child’s Social Security Number

Don't Miss

Why Use Self Lock

Have Your Locked Your Child’s Social Security Number

Employment-related identity fraud could mean that someone else is working under your identity and using your SSN. If this happens, someone elses wages are being reported in your name to the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and other authorities. By using Self Lock, you can block someone from committing this fraud if they start working for an E-Verify employer. Even if you are not currently working, you may want to protect your SSN and identity with Self Lock.

What Is A Credit Freeze And How Does It Work

A credit freeze is a free service that restricts access to your credit file. When you freeze your credit, you prevent anyone who might have access to your Social Security number or personal information from accessing your credit report. The purpose of a credit freeze is to prevent new accounts from being opened using your information.

When you freeze your credit, you’ll need to complete the process with all three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

Giving Your Child A Fraud

Children make attractive targets for identity thieves. A childs Social Security number is ap-pealing because it is usually “clean” and does not show up in fraud databases. The crime is often not discovered until the child comes of age, giving thieves years of unobserved use of the stolen identities and years to mar the credit histories of unsuspecting children.

For child victims, the consequences of identity theft are devastating. When victims become young adults and seek independent lives, banks, landlords, hiring managers, and utility companies discover victims negative credit histories and say “no deal,” a roadblock to financial autonomy.

You can help shield your childs credit history with a security freeze. Most businesses will not open credit accounts without first checking a consumers credit history. When a security freeze is in place, someone who applies to get credit using your childs name and Social Security number will be rejected. Access to your childs credit records will stay “frozen” until you say so, or until your child removes the freeze after reaching the age of 16.

You May Like: When Should You Apply For Social Security

Using An Ip Pin To File

Enter the six-digit IP PIN when prompted by your tax software product or provide it to your trusted tax professional preparing your tax return. The IP PIN is used only on Forms 1040, 1040-PR and 1040-SS.

Correct IP PINs must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays. An incorrect or missing IP PIN will result in the rejection of your e-filed return or a delay of your paper return until it can be verified.

Dont reveal your IP PIN to anyone. It should be known only to your tax professional and only when you are ready to sign and submit your return. The IRS will never ask for your IP PIN. Phone calls, emails or texts asking for your IP PIN are scams.

How Can I Place A Freeze On My Childs Credit Records

Social Security Number Archives

As a parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of 16, you can place a freeze by con-tacting the three nationwide credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You must provide the credit bureaus with certain informa¬tion and documents. See the instructions for each credit bureau at the end of this sheet.

Don’t Miss: How To Find Out My Current Social Security Benefits

How To Put A Flag On Your Social Security Number Or Credit Report

There are a few ways you can flag your social security number. The primary way to do this is to through a fraud alert, which will put extra protections in place for people trying to access or use your social security number or other private account details associated with your credit.

To get a credit flag or fraud alert placed with any of the three credit bureaus, do the following:

  • Contact one of the three credit reporting agencies . You can call or email, but we recommend you use the online reporting options each service makes available.
  • After a few days, check with the other two credit bureaus to verify that theyve received the fraud alert as well.
  • Update your information with each credit rating agency to make sure they can contact you in case something comes up or the alert triggers unusual activity.
  • You can contact the credit reporting agencies using the following information:

    Agency
    P.O. Box 105069Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

    As stated earlier, youll only need to contact one credit reporting agency. By law, each of the agencies must contact the other agencies after you set up a fraud alert. This makes your life easier, as youll only need to do this once.

    How To Use Self Lock

    To access Self Lock, you must be logged in to your myE-Verify account.

    To lock your SSN, you must enter your SSN and date of birth. myE-Verify does not store your SSN when you create your account, so you must provide your SSN to “lock” it.

    In addition, you must select and answer three challenge questions. Select questions you can easily answer, because you will need to answer them again to verify your identity if you receive an E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmation due to Self Lock.

    If you are about to start a new job with an E-Verify employer, you should log into your account and unlock your SSN.

    Subscribe to the myE-Verify website to receive email updates. Follow on Twitter . Got questions on myE-Verify? Contact us

    Also Check: When Can I Start Drawing My Social Security

    How Do I Freeze My Child’s Credit

    You can request a free credit freeze for your child if they’re under the age of 16. To place a freeze on your child’s credit, you will need to contact each credit bureau, fill out the necessary documentation, and provide copies of your ID, your birth certificate and your child’s, Social Security cards for you and your child, and a utility bill to verify your address.

    Freezing Your Child’s Credit Report: Faq

    Have You Locked Your Childs Social Security Number?

    Reading time: 5 minutes

    Highlights:

    • Minors under 18 typically do not have credit reports
    • A security freeze is one tool you can use to restrict access to your minor dependent’s credit reports
    • You’ll need to provide documentation to verify their identity, your identity and your ability to act on their behalf

    Consumers under the age of 18 typically do not have credit reports. Unfortunately, that means they present a blank slate for fraudsters who can apply for credit and take out loans in their name. The identity theft may not be discovered for years, until the child is a young adult.

    As a parent or legal guardian, a security freeze is one tool you can use to restrict certain access to your minor dependents credit report. Should you request a security freeze be placed on your minor dependents credit report, a credit report is created for the minor and then frozen. Youll also need to complete this form and provide proof of your identity proof of their identity and proof that you are their parent or legal guardian.

    Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about placing a security freeze on your minor dependents Equifax credit report:

    Q. How does a security freeze protect my childs credit reports?

    A. Once a security freeze is placed on your childs credit report, it restricts certain access to it, including access by fraudsters who may be attempting to open a new account using the childs identity.

    Q. Are they free?

    Q. How long does all this take?

    Recommended Reading: When Can You Get Social Security At What Age

    Your Social Security Card

    Whether youve lost your social security card or someone an acquaintance used the number, this is another common way that someone has obtained this information. Keeping your social security card safe, not keeping it in your wallet, and making sure that no one can get to it is another way to protect your identity.

    Checking Your Credit Score

    The most common way to catch unauthorized activity is by checking your credit information. If an account appears that you did not initiate, someone is using your Social Security number.

    You can check your credit score using a third-party service like or check with your credit card company to see if they have such a feature.

    If youre applying for a new line of credit and get turned down, this could mean that there are fraudulent accounts or activities that are affecting your credit score.

    Don’t Miss: How To Find Out My Current Social Security Benefits

    Check The Child’s Credit Report

    It is a good idea to check a minors credit report yearly, particularly while there is still time to dispute and eliminate errors before the child turns 18. Contact each of the three major credit reporting agencies and request a search to see if the child has a credit report on file with them. In addition to asking for the childs credit report, ask each company to perform a manual search based only on the childs Social Security number. This way, if the childs Social Security number is associated with a different name and personal information, it will be discovered. The three major credit bureaus can be contacted at:

    Equifax

    How To Know If Someone Is Using Your Childs Personal Information

    How to Get a Child

    In addition to taking steps to safeguard your childs personal information, keep an eye out for warning signs that someone is using your childs personal information. Here are a few:

    • Youre denied government benefits because someone is already using your childs Social Security number to get those benefits.
    • Someone calls you and says your child has an overdue bill, but its not an account you opened for the child.
    • You get a letter from the IRS that says your child didnt pay income taxes. This could happen if someone used your childs Social Security number on tax forms for a new job.
    • Youre denied a student loan because your child has bad credit. This could happen if someone used your childs Social Security number to get a credit card, open a cell phone account, or set up a utility service and has not paid the bills on time or at all.

    Signs of Child Identity Theft

    • Turned down for government benefits
    • Letter from the IRS about taxes your child owes
    • Childs student loan application is denied

    Don’t Miss: How Much Can I Earn While On Social Security Disability In 2020

    Pay Attention To Privacy Policies

    Practically all organizations that gather data on kids have privacy policies that detail how the child’s private information will be used and protected. Reading these policies can help you identify potential risks to your child’s information. If in doubt, never hesitate to ask questions, and don’t disclose your child’s information if you’re not comfortable with what you see in the policy.

    Types Of Fraud Alerts

    Each credit reporting agency will allow you to set up one of three fraud alerts types:

    • Initial fraud alert
    • Extended fraud alert
    • Active military fraud alert

    Each fraud alert serves a different purpose. Its important to decide whether your situation requires any of these options. It is unlikely that you will be able place multiple types of fraud alerts on any one account, so if youre unsure of which one you need, you may want to contact one of the credit reporting agencies, such as Experian, describe your situation, and allow them to help you decide how best to proceed.

    Lets explore each of these types of alerts in more detail.

    Don’t Miss: Who Can Receive Social Security

    How Long Does The Freeze Last

    The freeze of a child’s credit records remains in place until itis removed by the parent or guardian or by the child when he or she is 16 yearsold or older. Removing a freeze requires submitting a written request to thecredit bureaus, along with documentation similar to what is required forplacing the freeze. Credit bureaus may charge up to $10 for removing a securityfreeze. The credit bureaus must remove a freeze within 30 days after receivinga request for removal that provides the required information and fee, ifapplicable.

    Freeze Your Childs Credit Report

    Getting my Social Security Number and Card

    If your child is under 16, you can request a free credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, to make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your child’s name. The freeze stays in place until you tell the credit bureaus to remove it.

    To activate a credit freeze, contact each of the three credit bureaus. Find their contact information at IdentityTheft.gov.

    Read Also: When Can I Start Drawing My Social Security

    How Locking Your Social Security Number Works

    Locking your Social Security number is a simple process of accessing the governments myE-Verify website. The site walks you through the necessary steps:

  • Create an account
  • Enter your Social Security number and your date of birth
  • Take a short quiz
  • Set up three challenge questions so you can prove youre really you when you want to access your account again
  • The lock lasts for a year unless you take steps to reverse it, and youll be notified in advance when the lock is about to expire so you can renew it if you want to.

    What If Someone Steals My Social Security Number

    All of this is of course very interesting, but lets bring it back to the point of this article: what if some bad guy steals, obtains, guesses at, or otherwise gets hold of your Social Security Number? As it happens, all kinds of bad things!

    Because you have to have a Social Security Number to get a job in the United States , crooks are very fond of stealing SSNs specifically for the purpose of selling them to people who do not already have permission to work in the United States, so that those people can get a job.

    Nothing is wrong with people getting jobs, of course, but if they are using your Social Security Number, it can cause untold confusion and issues with your taxes and your Social Security benefits. You could even LOSE your Social Security benefits and that can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    As you can see, it is very important for you to be able to tell whether someone is using your Social Security Number without your permission. In this article, I will show you several methods of detecting whether your Social Security Number has been compromised.

    Also Check: Social Security Monthly Amount

    Unlocking Your Social Security Number

    If you lock your SSN, then later need to buy a new car or apply for employment with a company that requires a background check, you can unlock your number at any time.

    Use your Social Security account login to sign in to your myE-Verify account, and follow the prompts to unlock your Social Security number. After youve conducted your business, you can lock your number again.

    Locking your Social Security number adds an extra layer of security against identity theft, but it also creates a hassle when you need to use your Social Security account.

    If that seems like more security than you need, follow the simple security protocols below to help keep your Social Security account safe without locking it.

    Less Drastic Secure Options

    When, Why, and How Do I Get a New Social Security Number ...

    Unless youre concerned that your identity is imminently at risk for theft, locking your number through your Social Security online account might not be necessary.

    Here are 4 essential practices to protect your Social Security number and keep it secure:

  • Shred any paperwork that includes your number before throwing it away
  • Make sure your computers anti-virus software is up to date
  • Dont invite trouble by using open Wi-Fi networks
  • Be very suspicious of anyone who asks for your SSN, whether over the phone or by email
  • You might be asked to provide your Social Security account when you apply for certain services or when you seek medical care. You can decline to give your number, but the provider can then choose to deny you service.

    Before you provide your Social Security number, ask a few questions to help you decide whether that makes sense:

    • Why do they need your number?
    • How will it be stored?
    • Will it be shared with other companies?

    Also Check: Social Security Benefits For Seniors

    Are A Credit Freeze And Credit Lock The Same Things

    A credit freeze and credit lock both have the same result they restrict access to your credit. They both can be “turned on” and “turned off,” although credit locks are typically easier to unfreeze. The main difference, however, is that a credit freeze is free by law, whereas credit locks are services offered by the credit bureaus that come with a monthly fee.

    Shred Mail And Documents With Personal Details

    Discarded mail and documents are a magnet for identity thieves. Dont just throw out papers that contain personal details such as your SSN. Get a paper shredder and use it on a regular basis. While youre at it, dont leave mail in an outside mailbox for long periods. Stealing mail is another way thieves can make off with your information.

    Read Also: When Can I Start Drawing My Social Security

    Heres How To Check Your Childs Credit Report

    To check your childs credit report with Equifax and Experian, do the following:

  • Contact one of the credit reporting agencies and explain that you need to obtain a credit report for a minor child.
  • Provide the required identification: government issued ID, such as a drivers license proof of address copy if childs birth certificate and social security card childs full name, including middle name and generation childs date of birth and any previous addresses from the past two years).
  • Mail or fax the required documentation to the credit reporting agency using the mailing addresses found about. Note: for Equifax, add Minor Child to the company name to ensure faster retrieval to the right department.
  • To check your childs credit report with Transunion, do the following:

  • Use Transunions Child Identity Theft Inquiry form.
  • If Transunion locates a credit report is open for your child, it will ask for more information to verify your identity. This information can be submitted using the mailing address found above, or via a fax number Transunion if Transunion provides one.
  • More articles

    Popular Articles