Have You Locked Your Child’s Social Security Number

Key takeaways

  • Criminals have begun stealing the social security numbers of infants and young children to obtain credit and conduct other scams.
  • This new trend works for them because no one notices the activity and the horrible credit record it leaves for 18 years.
  • Protect your baby’s identity and future credit by locking his or her social security number through one of the three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, Equifax.
  • Lock the social security number as soon as you receive it, usually one or two weeks after your child is born.

The day has arrived and you’ve introduced a new bundle of joy to the family. Let’s go over the checklist of what you’ll need: you’ve got diapers and bottles, you have the nursery decorated, and you’ve contacted the credit agencies to get the new baby’s social security number locked. Wait. What’s that last item all about?

Why lock your child’s social security number?

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. One of the newest trends is for thieves to steal that new baby’s social security number and begin using it as their own, or selling it to someone else to use. They’ve discovered that stealing an infant’s identity allows them to get away with their scam much longer than when they use the identity of an established adult. Why? Because no one is likely to know about it for 18 years. By that time, your child can’t secure a student loan or any other kind of loan. His or her credit and identity is completely trashed, they have a horrible financial record, and maybe even a criminal history. Refer to this earlier identity theft post for more details on the topic.

If you have a young child, consider contacting any one of the three credit agencies — Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax — and have that social security number locked. You can do this by calling an agency’s toll-free number or through its website. Locking the social security number stops anyone from applying for loans in the name of your minor child, stealing their identity, or using their social security number for any other scams. It doesn’t take long and it makes it very difficult for the criminals out there who plan to follow this trend of going after young people. They’ve always preyed on the elderly, but it may not have occurred to you that they’re now going after the very young as well.

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby is always exciting. When you’re getting all the typical things ready for your new family member, don’t forget to think about locking the new social security number too. You typically receive your baby’s social security number a week or two after birth. Once you have it, lock that social security number with one of the credit agencies to keep it safe from criminals who want to steal your child’s identity and use it to obtain credit and loans. Until next time, enjoy.


Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business Battlefield. Whether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness. This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client. The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment. Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional. Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material. The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting, but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions.


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