[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you are a parent and resident of North Carolina it just became easier to protect your children against identity theft. Starting 01 January 2016, parents in North Carolina will be able to freeze the credit report associated with their children under the age of 16. Parents in North Carolina will soon be able to help protect their children from identity theft.
According a WBTV3 of Charlotte, NC reporting, the new NC law requires credit bureaus to create and freeze a child’s credit report upon request of a parent or guardian. (WBTV3 ‘s video report is provided below)
“A security freeze locks down your credit report to keep identity thieves from opening accounts and racking up debts in your name,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “ID theft can strike victims of any age and now parents can protect their kids’ credit from the very beginning.”
What if I don’t live in North Carolina and I am concerned about child identity theft?
KING5 of Seattle interviewed the voice of Senior Online Safety, Christopher Burgess on why it is important to monitor your child’s identity. Burgess applauded the efforts of North Carolina and lamented that Washington State (where Senior Online Safety is a registered non-profit) and many other legislators have not yet addressed the issue of child identity theft. Burgess urged, Washingtonians (and all others) to check for the existence of a credit report on your child. If you find a credit report exists, you need to dig deeper. If your family has been a victim of a data breach, such as a medical data breach which involved you child, then you meet the prerequisite for a credit freeze for your credit files. If the breach included your children (many of the breaches of 2015 occured within healthcare, you may need to provide documentation of such to freeze your child’s report. Requirements of each credit bureau vary.
NC Attorney General Roy Cooper advises:
Starting January 1:
- Request a security freeze for your child under age 16 by mail, by telephone, or online. Visit ncdoj.gov/creditfreeze for contact information.
- To lift a freeze permanently or temporarily, use the PIN or password established when setting up the freeze.
- It may cost up to $5 per credit bureau to place or lift a freeze on a child’s credit.
- A freeze is free if the child already has a credit report or has been a victim of identity theft.
North Carolina adults can freeze their credit reports for free online with each of the three major credit bureaus, with information available at ncdoj.gov. Once your credit is frozen, you can thaw it when needed to take out credit yourself.
KING5 – Seattle
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