The Virginia House of Delegates has voted 95-0 in favor of legislation to freeze the credit of minors to protect them from predatory credit card offers and identity theft.
Identity theft of children is a growing problem in the United States. Identity theft affects 30 million Americans, and approximately 500,000 of those cases are young people. Identity thieves increasingly target children because nobody generally discovers their actions until years later when a child becomes an adult, so that number is likely underreported.
This legislation would make Virginia one of the first states to adopt a minor credit freeze law, allowing a parent to freeze the credit of a child so that no person can seek credit under their name.
Surovell introduced legislation after his children, ages 13 and 11, received credit card solicitations in the mail.
“This is a major step for consumer protection in Virginia,” said Surovell. “Credit card companies should not be soliciting business from eleven year-old children and creating opportunities for identity thieves.”
• HB543: Security Freeze for Protected Consumers: Allows the parents or guardians of a minor (16 years and under) to request that a consumer-reporting agency place a security freeze on the protected consumer’s credit report.
“I introduced this bill to protect children throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, said Delegate Filler-Corn. “It is my hope that this legislation will go a long way in protecting our children from the dangers of credit fraud and identity theft, while giving peace of mind to parents.”
Surovell and Filler-Corn introduced separate, identical legislation to protect the credit of minors and Surovell is a chief co-patron of Filler-Corn’s bill.