Rep. Reineke Announces Passage Of Bill To Allow Parents To
HB 317 protects Ohio minors from identity theft
May 24, 2016
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State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today applauded passage of House Bill 317, which is aimed at protecting minors from being victims of identity theft. Today’s vote was a concurrence vote in which the Ohio House voted to agree with amendments made by the Ohio Senate.

This legislation allows credit reporting agencies to create a credit record for the minor and then apply a freeze to that record.

“Extending protection for children is a proactive way to ensure their financial security,” Rep. Reineke said. “The unfortunate reality of today is identity theft is on the rise. Sophisticated criminals prey on minors to steal their identity before they even have a chance to build financial history. I am proud to support this legislation that gives young Ohioans the opportunity to stop fraud before it ruins their future.”

Currently, Ohio law allows individuals to freeze their own credit when they have reason to believe their personal data has been compromised, however they are not able to do that on behalf of a child who does not have existing credit.

Given their young age, children can be easy targets for identity theft because they are a blank slate for credit and the fraud can go undetected for years. Many credit reporting agencies offer identity monitoring services, however these programs are not able to prevent the identity theft, but rather simply alert the individual as a reactionary remedy. Under HB 317, parents will be able to take preventative measures to protect their child’s identity.

According to the 2012 Child Identity Fraud Report, 1 in 40 households with minor children had at least one child whose personal information was compromised by identity criminals. Since the release of this report, 21 states have passed similar laws to HB 317 to protect consumers.

After passing the Ohio House unanimously in February, the Ohio Senate voted to amend the legislation to include language that prohibits certain personal information from being included in public records. This personal information includes state tax identification numbers, debit card numbers, bank account numbers and any other financial or medical account numbers.

House Bill 317 was sponsored by Representative Ron Maag (R–Lebanon) and now awaits approval by Governor Kasich before becoming law.

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