Freeze The Credit Reports

Cindy's jewelry box was stolen and contained her children's Social Security cards. The box was recovered, but what does she need to do to protect her kids' Social Security numbers?

QUESTION: Cindy in Texas is calling because her house was broken into and her jewelry box was stolen. It contained her children's Social Security cards. The box was recovered, but what does she need to do about protecting her kids' Social Security numbers?

ANSWER: I would freeze their credit reports, and you should go to Zander Insurance and buy their identity theft protection today. Then, if the Social Security numbers are misused, you will have a caseworker assigned to your kids' case to clean up the identity theft. My guess is if they tore the things in half instead of putting them in their pockets, they didn't steal the kids' identities. I'm thinking you’ve got some amateurs here who just wanted the stuff out of the jewelry box. But you don't know, so I would buy the identity theft insurance anyway. I keep that stuff on my kids and my family. If somebody steals your identity these days, the money is not lost because you don't owe the money. It just takes thousands of hours to get these idiots at the credit card company to take the thing off their books. I would rather somebody else deal with those idiots than me, because I lose patience with them.

What you need to remember about a frozen credit report is it means anyone who goes to check your kids' credit can't, which means that if a bank were to try to issue a credit card in your kids' names, the freeze only works if that bank checks their credit. A frozen credit report does not prevent identity theft.

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