Bill will provide safeguards against child identity theft
Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) has introduced legislation aimed at enabling parents to better protect their children and family from identity theft.
The bill, AB 1580, will allow parents to freeze their children’s credit with credit bureaus, preventing identity thieves from opening fraudulent credit accounts and ruining their children’s credit at an early age.
Consumer investigative reporter Julie Watts, from CBS affiliate KPIX in San Francisco, reported about her attempts to freeze her own child’s credit, but credit bureaus would not allow her to because there is no state law mandating them to act. After reporting on the dangers of identity theft, Watts decided to proactively protect her daughter against fraud by freezing her credit.
“As a parent of two young daughters, I understand why someone would go above and beyond to shield their child from harm,” Gatto said. “AB 1580 is a common sense proposal that provides parents the tools to protect their child’s financial future.”
Currently, parents can only freeze their child’s credit after their 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 makes sense, Gatto said. Idaho, Texas and Maryland have already implemented similar laws.
“It is time for California to step up and join the many states that have already passed similar legislation,” Gatto added. “Parents will be able to sleep better at night knowing their child’s identity is protected.”