Tackle online child identity theft

Get support on dealing with identity fraud

If your child has their identity stolen, it’s important to take action.

Explore the guidance below to help children recognise identity theft and get support from the right places.

Display video transcript
If your child comes across a stranger – whether online or offline - they should avoid them and not reveal anything personal. Encourage them to stay anonymous where possible and use a username that is not their real name.

Go through the privacy settings with your child for every social networking site and app they use. Agree with them what they’ll share, and with whom.

Check the privacy settings on the devices they use. Look out for location services, sharing of contacts, photos, calendars, Bluetooth sharing, microphone, video, and advertising settings.

Search your child’s full name in several search engines and see what information and photographs are public.

If you find inaccurate comments or photographs that might damage your child’s reputation, ask the website to remove them.

Block pop-ups to help your child avoid downloading a virus that may harvest personal information.

Make regular visits to online safety sites like Cyberstreet, Thinkuknow, Childnet, or Parent Info to keep up to date with possible issues.

If your child’s identity has been stolen
- Tell and affected websites about the problem
- Your child should log in and change their password immediately
- If they can’t log in contact the technical support department
- Change any secret questions or other verification information sites use to identify users
- Check with credit reference agencies for any unusual entries, and for advice

Quick tips to tackle online identity theft

How to report identity theft

If your child is a victim of identity theft or fraud, report it to Action Fraud. This service is available for those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Those in Scotland should report the crime to Police Scotland.

Contact your child's bank

Contact banks, credit card companies or other organisations that hold your child’s information to notify them.

Request image removal

If a scammer uses your child’s image, contact the platform to get it removed.

Track their credit

Contact a credit reference agency (CRA) to request your child’s statutory credit report. Most children won’t yet have one. However, victims of identity theft might.

In the UK, the main CRAs are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Report identity fraud

Get more advice and support so you can report child identity theft.


How do I report child identity theft?

You can report online identity fraud that targets your child to the police as well as specific organisations.

Impersonation of another person is a crime. You should report identity theft of your child to the police as well as:

  • Known websites where criminals use your child’s identity.
  • Website from where you know their identity was stolen.
  • The bank or credit card companies your child uses, if any.

Where to report child identity theft

Other ways to deal with identity theft

Beyond reporting fraud and impersonation, here are some other actions to take to support your child.

  • Contact a credit reference agency (CRA) such as EquifaxExperian or TransUnion. Request your child’s statutory credit report to track any unexpected impacts on their credit due to identity theft.
  • Report any stolen documents to the organisation they’re from. This includes offline documents like passports or IDs that might make their way online.
  • Enhance account security. Change passwords and force logouts where possible so criminals can’t access them.
  • Review cyber security software. Check that your family’s devices are up-to-date on their security.
  • Apply for protective registration. This is also a good preventative measure. You can contact the UK fraud prevention service, CIFAS, to do this. With this feature, CIFAS will perform extra checks on anyone who tries to open new accounts that could impact your child’s credit.

What if someone uses my child's image?

If someone is impersonating your child and using their image, you can contact the platform to have it removed.

Each social media platform has set community guidelines. They outline what actions they take if someone impersonates someone else on the platform.

Report to Snapchat

To report a Snapchat account impersonating your child, visit the Snapchat support centre and follow the steps.

Report to Instagram

To report impersonation to Instagram, fill in this form.

Report to TikTok

Report impersonation to TikTok, by filling in this form.

Get more support with child identity theft

Learn about the impact of identity fraud on children and how to prevent it.

Get personalised support

Stay on top of children's privacy and security with personalised advice.

Was this useful?
Tell us how we can improve it