New law aims to prevent child identity theft

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- If adults sense something wrong with a financial account, they have credit reports and bank statements to check. They may even get a call about potential fraud. But, children barely have any safeguards against credit or identity theft.

"You really want to be vigilant because these things happen so very fast," said Amy Alexander.

Alexander is a stay-at-home mom in Tallahassee with two kids. She knows the importance of keeping a close watch on your personal information.

"I looked in my account and it was completely drained."

MORE:How to create, freeze a child's account

Her bank notified her that something was wrong. The institution caught her issue like many other victims. But, with no credit or bank account to monitor, kids have no line of defense against identity theft.

"You're worried about your children every single second so something proactive I definitely would be willing to look into it," Alexander said.

Now Florida Parents don't need to look too far. A new law starting this month allows parents to establish credit for their kids with one of the major credit bureaus and then freeze it until they become adults.

Info on credit reports

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam pushed for the legislation. He says if fraud takes place it could take years for a child or their parents to notice it.

"It's a small price to pay for knowing your child's identity will be protected," he said.

"We've seen an explosion in the number of crimes on children where a child 3, 4, 5 years old has their sensitive information stolen."

All parents need to do is contact one of three credit agencies: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion and pay a $10 fee to freeze their child's account.


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