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Dave Says: To Catch a Thief

Dave Ramsey - July 24, 2012

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I have reason to believe my stepson's father has used his name to open credit accounts. How do I check this for a minor?

Dear Dave,

My stepson is about to turn 18. I have reason to believe that his biological father has used his son’s name to open credit accounts. I’ve been told that you can’t do a credit check on a minor, so what’s the easiest way to go about checking this out?

Tom

Dear Tom,

I’m not sure who told you that you can’t do a credit check on a minor. I did it on all my kids when they were younger. There are three national credit reporting bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Just go online to each one, and pull his credit reports to see if anything is showing.

If you find anything, you’ll need to file a police report in the locale where the offense occurred. After you file the report, get a copy and approach the business in question, explaining what happened. You’ll have to make sure they understand this guy is not the kid’s legal, parental guardian, and that he stole his son’s identity to open the account. Then, provide them with a copy of the police report and make sure they take his name off the account.

Checking a credit report is pretty easy, and it will give you a wealth of information. The biggest hassle is making the contacts and explaining things to creditors and the reporting bureaus. But it’s a lot bigger hassle for the identity thief once the companies that have been duped and the authorities know what’s going on!

—Dave

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

Comments 1 comments

mjduley said...

11:04 AM
on Jul 24, 2012

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When my daughter was 13 someone stole her social security number and used it to get a job in another city. When I tried to pull her credit reports I was told by all three agencies that they couldn't do that because she was under 18. Even when I explained the situation they would not do it. I'd sure like to know how Dave did it.
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