Why Fraud is Committed Against Those Who Don’t Use Their Credit Much
While children’s personal information is the most lucrative and sought after target in the criminal world, the information of those who have credit but no longer use it regularly is also desirable. Think about a senior in your family who has a few paid off credit cards in their wallet, but that wallet is stored in someone’s drawer because the loved one has entered a care facility. Criminals will steal the senior’s identity, change their mailing address, and get to work doing as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. The senior and anyone looking after their affairs will be none the wiser because statements weren’t coming anyways for an account that wasn’t being used.
If this is your loved one’s situation, close any credit accounts they don’t really need. Then ensure that any credit that is left open is used at least once every few months. That way it will be noticeable if someone tries to commit fraud against them. And the same applies to everyone who has credit accounts they don’t actively use. Keeping them for “just in case” is great; just use them a little here and there to make sure you’ve got them available if you ever do need them.
Request Your Child’s Credit Report
Pulling a copy of your child’s credit report will help you figure out if something’s wrong. Fraudsters engaging in criminal identity theft on children count on the fact that parents don’t do this. This is especially true if you got a SIN for your child, which is needed for Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs). Your child shouldn’t have a credit file until they reach the age of majority. However, what should be isn’t always the case. If your child has been the victim of fraud, they won’t be impacted right away because they aren’t applying for credit yet. However, it will take time to straighten things out and clear their record. You don’t want their first application for a credit card, student loan, or car loan declined due to a poor credit history report that they had nothing to do with.
While it might seem strange to check your child’s credit report, that’s exactly what parents need to do if they have concerns. Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada are the country’s official credit reporting agencies. Make sure to request your child’s credit file from both. If identity theft has occurred, the agencies will tell you what to do next to clear your child’s name.
How to Contact Equifax and TransUnion in Canada