Kudos to the state of Maryland for leading the way in protecting children and their credit.
In 2012, the governor of Maryland signed into law The Maryland Child Identity Lock bill that gives parents and guardians the opportunity to create and proactively freeze their minor children or dependents credit.
Contrary to belief, a credit report is not created upon birth or the issue of a social security number, rather it is created upon establishing credit. Criminals are stealing the identities of children who are not discovering the fraudulent activity until much later in life.
Other states (16 to date) have followed Maryland’s lead. Florida recently adopted a similar law, the Keeping I.D. Safe (KIDS) Act.
Illustrating the significance of this crime against children, Ashtavia Maddox spoke in support of the Keeping I.D. Safe (KIDS) Act. As a young girl in the foster care system Ashtavia's identity was stolen and not protected while living in the state of Florida. She faced many challenges in trying to clear her name.
But, these crimes are not isolated to 16 states. These crimes occur against children across all states.
As a victim of identity theft in the state of Ohio, this is legislation that I urge be swiftly adopted by Ohio and by all states. Parents and guardians should have resources available to them in order to protect their children’s credit.
The Federal Trade Commission recently released their list of consumer complaints, and topping the list for the 15th year is identity theft. Heading toward two decades of this crime dominating consumers’ lives, children too deserve to be safeguarded from this crime and parents and guardians should have the right to protect and preserve their child’s future.