Hultgren Sponsors Legislation to Combat Child Identity Fraud
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) joined Representatives Curbelo (R-FL-26), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9) and Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24) in sponsoring legislation that will direct the Social Security Administration (SSA) to take a more proactive role in preventing identity theft. The Protecting Children from Identity Theft Act, H.R. 5192, directs the SSA to electronically confirm with trusted third parties whether or not a name, date of birth and Social Security Number (SSN) are affiliated.
“I have heard far too many stories about my constituents becoming victims of identity fraud. One story shared with me involved a family in the North Suburbs of Chicago. In this case, the Social Security Number of a 13-year-old child was used by a fraudster to open a credit card in an attempt to pay for a plastic surgery procedure. Crimes like these cost victims thousands if not millions of dollars and can remain an inconvenience for years,” said Rep. Hultgren. “I am especially concerned about children and recent immigrants, who do not have an established credit history, becoming victims of fraud. Our bipartisan legislation will help the government partner with the private sector to prevent identity theft from taking place.”
“Unfortunately South Florida is all too familiar with the lengths at which fraudsters will go through to steal an identity,” Curbelo said. “But the fact that children’s identities and personal information are being exploited at such alarming rates cannot continue to go unaddressed. We need to ensure that fraud detection is modernized to stop these crimes from continuing to negatively impact American families. This legislation is an effective, bipartisan solution that would limit synthetic ID fraud and help protect millions of identities from being stolen.”
“No child should ever fall victim to financial crime or identity fraud. Targeting our kids and running up massive debts in their names is shameful and cowardly, and we must fight back to ensure they have the chance to build their own futures," said Sinema. "Our fix modernizes federal fraud detection to stop these criminals and protect Arizona kids by improving screening for financial transactions. Every Arizonan deserves financial peace of mind, which is why we’ll keep working across the aisle to pass this commonsense bill.”
Child identity theft affects thousands of children and families a year (in addition to the millions more who suffer from other types of identity theft). A report by Carnegie Mellon CyLab titled “Child Identity Theft: New Evidence Indicates Identity Theives are Targeting Children for Unused Social Security Numbers” examined more than 40,000 cases, and found that 10 percent of the children in the study had someone else using their Social Security Number. Among other things, children’s identities were used to purchase homes and open credit card accounts.
Rep. Hultgren is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services where he serves as the Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment, and is also a member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.