With child identity
theft an increasing problem, representatives of collection and credit agencies,
law enforcement officials and advocacy groups are urging lawmakers to create laws
with stronger penalties for those who victimize children.
Victims, too, are calling for more action.
my opinion, the system has a major flaw in it, which allows the criminals to slip
through the cracks," says Gabriel Jimenez, who was robbed of his identity
when he was 12.
Jimenez has learned from his experience that
two key issues must be addressed: police jurisdiction and the government's ability
He also believes issuing temporary Social Security
numbers to the victims for a longer period of time can help law enforcement track
down individuals fraudulently using a child's information.
a few state legislatures have heeded the call for tougher restrictions. The map
below shows states that passed laws over the past three years designed to safeguard
children from financial leeches.
|2003-2006 laws regarding identity theft and children|
Chapter 387: Requires a county welfare department
to request a consumer disclosure, pursuant to federal law, on behalf of a youth
in a foster care placement in the county when the youth reaches his or her 16th
birthday in order to ascertain whether the youth has been the victim of identity
theft. If the consumer disclosure reveals any negative items, or evidence that
identity theft has occurred, the bill would require the county welfare department
to refer the youth to an approved organization that provides services to victims
of identity theft. The bill requires the department to develop a list of approved
organizations for this purpose, in consultation with the County Welfare Directors
Association and others.
Chapter 32: Provides an exemption from public record
requirements for the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security
numbers and photographs of children who participate in government-sponsored recreation
programs or camps. The names and locations of the schools attended by such children,
and the names, home addresses, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of
the parents or guardians of such children provides for future review and repeal
of the exemption.
Public Act 94-0944: Amends the Code of Civil Procedure.
Provides that a person who is convicted of identity theft, aggravated identity
theft, felony or misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse when the victim of the offense,
at the time of its commission, is under 18 years of age. Felony or misdemeanor
sexual exploitation of a child, felony or misdemeanor indecent solicitation of
a child, felony or misdemeanor indecent solicitation of an adult, or any other
offense for which a person is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration
Act in this state or any other state, who has not been pardoned, shall not be
permitted to file a petition for a name change in the courts of Illinois.
Act 94-0043: Amends the Income Withholding for Support Act. Provides
that the court, at its discretion, may withhold the Social Security numbers of
the child or children from being disclosed in the income withholding notice.