SENATOR NELSON TO ADDRESS CHILD ID THEFT

September 12, 2012

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson today announced her intention to file legislation giving parents a new tool to protect their children from identify theft.

"A staggering number of Texas children have fallen victim to illegal child identity theft, putting them at risk for credit problems before they ever reach adulthood," said Senator Nelson. "By giving parents the ability to freeze their children's credit, we can protect young Texans from identify theft and teach them about the importance of establishing good credit."

During the 2013 legislative session, Senator Nelson will file a measure modeled after a new law passed in Maryland. The measure will seek to:

--authorize parents to create a credit file for their children;

--require credit reporting agencies to place a freeze on those files upon parental request; and

--ensure that the freeze remains in place unless requested by the parent or until the child becomes an adult.

Her legislation comes in response to a surge of child identity theft and credit abuse cases across the country. In the past three years, 57,000 cases have been reported to the Federal Trade Commission. A recent Carnegie Mellon University study found that credit records of more than one in ten children show signs of identity theft. This crime has the potential to impact a child's ability to acquire student or home loans, purchase a mobile phone plan, or find employment.

The Texas Legislature will convene for its next session on January 8, 2013. To follow legislative progress, visit www.capitol.state.tx.us.