It’s Time to Protect our Children Against Identity Theft
There has been a concerning trend across the United States of young adults being denied credit cards or loans because their identity was stolen when they were too young to even own a credit card. That is why I introduced legislation that would allow parents to protect their child and family from identity theft.
My bill, AB 1580, allows a parent to freeze their child’s credit with the three credit bureaus, preventing identity thieves from opening fraudulent credit accounts and ruining their child’s credit at an early age.
I decided to introduce this legislation after hearing multiple stories of parents being refused the ability to freeze their own child’s credit by the credit bureaus. There are also cases of adults attempting to take out student loans, but being denied by lenders because identity thieves had ruined their credit when they were children. Sadly, there was a boy who was in the foster care system who also was taken advantage by credit thieves.
That is why AB 1580 is a common-sense proposal that provides parents the tools to proactively protect their child’s financial future. As a parent, this issue is close to my heart. I want to make sure that I can protect my children against identity theft, and help other parents do the same.
Until now, parents have only been able to freeze their child’s credit after the child has been a victim of identity fraud. Since children do not have credit in the first place, giving their parents the option to freeze their credit at birth only makes sense. States such as Idaho, Texas and Maryland have already successfully passed and implemented similar laws.
I firmly believe that it is time for California to step up and join the many states that have already passed similar legislation. Parents will be able to sleep better at night knowing their child’s identity is protected.
Mike Gatto is the Chairman of the Utilities & Commerce Committee and the longest-serving current member of the State Assembly. He represents California’s 43rd Assembly District, which includes Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank. www.asm.ca.gov/gatto