Parents, a new way to protect kids against ID theft

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Parents now have a new defense to guard against ID theft when it comes to their children.

Starting Jan. 1, a new law, NC House Bill 607 takes effect. It gives parents and guardians the ability to freeze the credit reports of all children younger than age 16.

"A security freeze locks down your credit report to keep identity thieves from opening accounts and racking up debts in your name," North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said. "ID theft can strike victims of any age, and now parents can protect their kids' credit from the very beginning."

A security freeze blocks access to credit unless you have given your permission, meaning that a criminal who has stolen your child's identity will not be able to use it to open new accounts. Cooper said. "Many times people put security freezes on after they become a victim of idenity theft. Although that's important to stop further errosion, here's a way you can prevent it from happening to start with."

How to get a security freeze for your children

Starting Jan. 1:

  • Request a security freeze for your child younger than 16 by mail, by telephone, or online.

  • To lift a freeze permanently or temporarily, use the PIN or password established when setting up the freeze.

  • It may cost up to $5 per credit bureau to place or lift a freeze on a child's credit.

  • A freeze is free if the child already has a credit report or has been a victim of identity theft.

  • North Carolina adults can also freeze their credit reports for free online at this NCDOJ website with each of the three major credit bureaus.

    Once your credit is frozen, you can thaw it when needed to take out credit yourself.

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