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Posted: 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New free way to protect your child's identity

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Protecting your child's identity is about to get a whole lot easier and cheaper thanks to a new free service in the marketplace.

Child identity theft is one of the worst forms of identity theft because it often goes unchecked and unnoticed for years. You might not have any idea until your kid applies for college loans or maybe a first apartment. Suddenly, the credit report comes back and they're supposedly a 57 year old man who defaulted on a mortgage!

This has been a terrible burden on kids. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion's response has been that they basically don't care. In fact, one bureau wanted to charge parents a huge monthly fee to see if their kid's identity may have been subject to any breaches.

Thankfully, AllClearID.com is now offering a new free service called ChildScan. The service combs through credit records, employment records, criminal records and medical accounts to find out if a crook has been using your kid's Social Security number.

According to the 2012 Child Identity Theft Report, kids are 35 times more likely to be subject to identity theft than an adult. Meanwhile, another recent study found that one in 10 kids has his or her identity stolen by the age of 18.

Crooks target kids because they're ideal candidates for identity theft -- no credit history, but a clean Social Security number. As a parent, you want to make sure nobody messes with your children. And the sooner you find out the better because if it goes on for a decade or more, it can take years to clean up.

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