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Resources > Education Center > National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day—When It Is and How To Mark It

National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day—When It Is and How To Mark It

With everything parents have on their minds at any given moment, securing their children’s identities might not make the priority list. Understandable as this may be, you shouldn’t make the same mistake—identity theft is more common than you might think, and millions of minors have fallen victim to it.

National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day was established to spread knowledge about this vicious crime and help parents keep their children safe from fraudsters. In this article, you’ll learn how to take advantage of this day to teach your child about ID security.

When Is National Child Identity Theft Awareness Day?

Child Identity Theft Awareness Day falls on September 1. As children go back to school, parents are reminded of the importance of educating themselves and their young ones on identity fraud.

This day was established in 2018 by Experian, one of the three major consumer credit bureaus. It’s the perfect time to focus on a few important tasks:

  • Familiarizing yourself with what child identity theft is and how it occurs
  • Talking to your child about identity fraud if they’re old enough to understand it
  • Reviewing and upgrading your child’s identity protection measures

Quick Facts About Child Identity Theft

Javelin’s research shows that one in 50 U.S. children falls victim to identity theft annually. Identity criminals get ahold of children’s personally identifiable information (PII) in many ways, most notably through:

  • Data breaches
  • Physical theft of documents
  • Online extraction via social engineering strategies like phishing

Children’s Social Security numbers (SSNs) are among the most frequently targeted. When a thief obtains it, they misuse the child’s identity in two ways:

  1. Impersonation
  2. Synthetic identity fraud

Impersonation is typically done to obtain government benefits or tax refunds in the child’s name. Synthetic identity fraud is far more complex—it involves combining the child’s SSN with fake information, so it’s harder to track down the perpetrator.

In many cases, child identity theft goes unnoticed until the child reaches the legal age and applies for credit. By the time this happens, the fraudster may have already damaged their credit profile, making it hard or impossible to obtain loans until the credit profile is cleaned up.

ID theft can have numerous consequences, so it’s important to talk to your child about it while they’re still young and ensure they know how to safeguard their PII.

How To Teach Your Child About Identity Theft

The sooner your child learns about identity theft, the better their chances of protecting themselves from it. If you’re not sure how to approach this topic, the following three tips can help:

  1. Explain what information and documents they must safeguard
  2. Educate them on responsible social media use
  3. Warn them about phishing and some of its most common forms

The Most Sensitive Documents and PII Your Child Must Protect

Make sure your child knows not to share their private documents with anyone—even those they trust. Familial identity theft and fraud committed by someone the victim knows is fairly common, so access to PII should be as limited as possible.

Teach your child which documents require the highest security, including the following:

  • Social Security card
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Medical cards
  • Driver’s license

While the child is young, let them know they shouldn’t give out any PII before consulting you first. As they grow up, they’ll have better judgment as to when it’s safe to reveal it.

The Basics of Social Media Safety

Extensive social media use increases the risk of identity theft by 30%. Seeing as tweens and teens spend between four and almost nine hours per day online, it’s crucial to ensure your child knows how to stay safe.

Teach them not to post their address, phone number, or identifying documents. There’s no need to reveal anything other than their name, so make sure it stays that way. Your child should know that once they post something, it’s publicly available forever and may be redistributed before they get a chance to take it down.

They should also be cautious when forming online friendships. Strangers sometimes aren’t who they claim to be, so your child might be catfished and tricked into giving away sensitive information.

As a rule of thumb, your child should be skeptical whenever someone new seems to be asking too many questions. They might feel compelled to answer to avoid being rude, so let them know it’s fine to ignore anything they find strange or invasive.

Different Types of Phishing To Beware

Phishing is an online attack where the scammer impersonates a reputable individual or institution to extract sensitive information from the target. Some phishing tactics are quite elaborate, so looking closely for red flags is crucial.

While phishing mostly happens via email, fraudsters use other strategies to target children, most notably:

  • Giveaways—The scammer launches a fake competition with a randomly chosen winner and asks for personal details to let the child enroll
  • Quizzes—Fraudsters create spoof entertainment or educational quizzes that contain questions regarding the child’s information or require it to reveal the results
  • Direct messages—As email isn’t a common tool among children, scammers send social media DMs from fake accounts asking for PII

Let your child know that only a handful of institutions require their SSN and other private information. Teach them to always verify message senders and avoid clicking on suspicious links.

What You Can Do To Protect Your Child’s Identity

If your child is still too young to understand identity theft and keep their information safe, you should put adequate security measures in place. The problem is that you can’t do much on your own besides storing sensitive documents in a safe place and staying on the lookout for warning signs.

This is why many parents have decided to outsource identity protection to experts. Numerous providers offer ID monitoring and similar services that help safeguard children’s PII, giving parents more peace of mind.

If this sounds appealing, Austin Capital Bank offers a solution you should check out—FreeKick. FreeKick protects your family from identity fraud and builds credit for your children.

How FreeKick Helps Parents Keep Their Children Safe

FreeKick is an FDIC-insured savings account that includes premium identity protection services for your whole family and establishes and builds a strong credit profile for your children.

FreeKick’s Identity Monitoring Services (Coming Soon)

FreeKick provides identity protection for both minors and adult children and parents. Every FreeKick plan includes identity protection for up to two adult parents and six minor or adult children.

Identity protection services for adult children and parents include:

  • Credit profile monitoring 
  • Social Security number monitoring 
  • Dark web monitoring for personal information 
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance 
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Lost wallet protection 
  • Court records monitoring 
  • Change of address monitoring 
  • Non-Credit (Payday) loan monitoring 
  • Free FICO® Score monthly 
  • FICO® Score factors 
  • Experian credit report monthly

For minor children, FreeKick offers the following services:

  • Credit profile monitoring 
  • Social Security number monitoring 
  • Dark web monitoring for child’s personal information 
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance 
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Sex offender monitoring—based on sponsor parent’s address

Parent-Sponsored Credit Building

When you open a FreeKick account, your child will get more than identity monitoring—the service will establish, build, and monitor their credit profile to give them a significant head start in life.

FreeKick allows you to establish and build a strong credit profile for your children as young as 14 years old and up to 25 years old—FreeKick safely and reliably builds credit without using a credit card or encouraging borrowing. By building credit through saving, not spending, you’re establishing your child’s credit today for a lifetime of advantages while teaching them good financial habits.

Plus, FreeKick offers an optional monthly savings plan account feature that builds payment history for your children while you save. Every monthly savings deposit builds payment history for your children, accelerating your child’s credit-building progress. Monthly payment history determines over a third (35%) of your child’s FICO credit score.

Here’s how it all works:

  1. Open an account at FreeKick.bank
  2. Choose Activate Credit Building in your account dashboard when your child turns 14
  3. Have your child activate credit reporting when they become an adult (18 in most states) by selecting Activate Credit Reporting

Note that credit reporting will start around 90 days after you open the account if your child is 18 or over (19 in Alabama). If they’re a minor, reporting will start when they activate reporting because credit bureaus only accept it for adults.

FreeKick will build a credit history for your child over the next 12 months. When credit reporting is activated, a credit account for $1,000 will be reported to all three major consumer credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). It will also include the account opening date, amount of credit, type of credit, and last 24 months of payment history, jumpstarting your child’s credit score. FreeKick does not impact a parent’s credit report or score.

Sign Up for FreeKick Today

You don’t need to bother with monthly subscriptions to use FreeKick. You can get started with just a $10 deposit and a small annual fee, or use the savings you already have for your children to build their credit and protect them. 

FreeKick deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Every plan includes credit building for up to six children aged 14–25 and premium identity protection for two parents and up to six children. Take a look at the pricing:

DepositAnnual Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)

You can close the account at any point without penalties, and your deposit will be returned. Note that if you do it while your child is still a minor, no credit can be reported on their behalf because of the aforementioned limitations.

Why Pay for Identity Protection?

Paying a monthly subscription or a high annual fee for identity protection is expensive and can add up to thousands of dollars.

With FreeKick, you can keep the money you save for your children and protect them at the same time. Save over $10,000 during your children’s childhood with FreeKick’s family identity protection:

Cost DetailsFreeKick1FreeKick1LifeLock2
FDIC-insured deposit$3,000$10$0
Cost per year$0$149$600
Annual savings$600$451
Savings over 18 years$10,800$8,118

1 FreeKick plans cover two parents and up to six children. The table shows two different plans

2 LifeLock Advantage Family plan for two parents and up to five children. The annual plan is $599.99, and the monthly plan is $59.99/mo, $719.88 for 12 months.

Enjoy the convenience of automated credit building and reduce the risk of your child’s information falling into the wrong hands—create a FreeKick account.