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Is it a crime to use your child’s Social Security number to obtain credit?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2023 | Criminal Defense

It’s almost an invisible crime — parents who compromise their minor children’s future credit scores to obtain credit in their kids’ names. 

But make no mistake, it is indeed a crime to steal your child’s identity. Could you be prosecuted for this crime? That depends greatly on who discovers the incident and whether they choose to press charges.

What if you used it to get utility services?

A desperate parent with an outstanding bill in their name for gas or electrical services might resort to using their child’s Social Security number to get or keep utilities on in the home. While still not legal, that might be viewed as harder to prosecute than cases where the parents use their kids’ SS numbers to rack up debt for luxury purchases or to fund drug or alcohol habits.

Does the child need to press charges?

Children whose parents have racked up debt in their names typically learn of the deception once they are 18 or older and apply for credit. They can, and often do, sign identity theft charges against their parents.

But other adults in their lives can also intervene on their behalf and bring these allegations to light. Parents who have assumed their children’s identities to obtain credit or services could face felony charges based on several different factors.

Get out ahead of the matter

If you find yourself in this untenable situation and worry about getting arrested when your actions are revealed, understand that you have legal options available to you. Learn how you might minimize the fallout from your actions before you face arrest.