BBB® reports an identity theft victim doesn’t necessarily have to be an adult. Recent reports show identity thieves are targeting the clean credit of children and opening accounts in children’s names. Efforts are now under way to try to stop such imposters.
A child’s identity is a perfect target, a blank slate. With the right information, imposters can take out credit cards, loans, reconnect utilities, and rent an apartment or even a mortgage in a child’s name. This ruins victims’ credit before they’re even old enough to drive.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is supporting a bill in the Ohio House allowing parents or guardians to “freeze” a child’s credit record so identity thieves can’t open accounts in their child’s name. The security freeze ensures credit will not be inappropriately granted.
Ohio law states a person must have an existing credit report before they can apply a security freeze. Under this legislation, the credit reporting agencies could create a “credit record” for the minor and then apply the freeze to that record.
Until some action is taken legislatively, parents or guardians can take proactive steps by monitoring their child’s clean credit by pulling an annual credit report and reporting any unusual activity. Then, take measures to protect the child’s social security number by keeping it secure and offline.
Visit bbb.org for more tips and information on identity theft.