Maryland’s New Child Identity Theft Law
May 3, 2012
Jackie here, with AllClear ID. As we revealed with our 2012 Child Identity Theft Report, children are 35 times more likely to be victims of identity theft. Worse still, resolving this crime through typical legal channels is exceedingly difficult. Many of the id theft laws in existence only apply to adults.
Maryland is looking to change that as the first U.S. state to pass a child ID theft law. The Maryland law is the first of its kind by allowing parents and legal guardians to protect their children from identity theft before it occurs by placing a preemptive freeze on the child’s credit report. This freeze prevents ID thieves from applying for credit or opening accounts in the child’s name. Previously credit freezes were only available to those with an actual credit history, which children typically don’t have unless they are already a victim of identity theft.
This law will help many Maryland parents prevent their children from becoming victims. This law makes strides in providing children and parents with identity theft solutions for an all too common problem, however, it isn’t enough. This law only provides a credit report freeze if requested by a parent or legal guardian. If parents do not take the time to request this freeze, their children are not protected.
This law also does not protect children from parents using their name and Social Security number to obtain credit, which is a common cause of child identity theft. While this law does acknowledge the child ID theft problem and provides one solution, parents should still carefully monitor their children’s identities for signs of fraud.
Whether you live in Maryland or somewhere else, parents have a responsibility to protect their children from id theft. A credit check is not enough and fails to detect id theft 99% of the time in children. Don’t let your child be the 1-in-10 that has their identity stolen. You need a child ID report, which is available for free through our ChildScan service. You can also download the pdf with the details to learn more. Check it out today!