North Carolina parents have an additional tool to help them protect their children from becoming victims of identity theft. Parents of children under the age of 16 can set up a security freeze for their children. Guardians, or those who have written legal authority to protect incapacitated adults, can also get security freezes for those protected consumers.
Having a security freeze in place for children and other protected consumers prevents anyone from taking out credit in the child’s or protected consumer's name. One of the most damaging forms of identity theft happens when criminals open a new account in someone else’s name, so having a security freeze is an important tool to help keep a child or protected consumer's name and Social Security number from being used to open lines of credit. To set up a Protected Consumer security freeze, you will be asked to provide proof of identification for the protected consumer and for the parent guardian, including:
- Social Security Number or Social Security card;
- Certified or official copy of a birth certificate; or
- A copy of a driver's license or other government-issued identification.
You will also be asked to provide proof of authority to act on behalf of the child or protected consumer. This includes:
- A court order;
- A valid power of attorney;
- A document issued by a government entity showing proof of parentage, such as a birth certificate; or
- Documentation from a county department certifying that the protected consumer is in a foster care setting.
Credit bureaus must comply with online or telephonic requests for a security freeze within one business day of receiving them. The credit bureaus must comply with requests made by mail within three business days of receiving them. You must provide this information to each of the three nationwide credit bureaus by mail or online. When you freeze your credit, the credit bureau will send you confirmation of the freeze placement along with information on how to remove the freeze. This information should be sent to you no later than five business days after placing the freeze, and should include any authentication information you will need, such as a PIN (Personal Identification Number) or password. Make sure to keep this authentication information in a safe place. *Source: NC Department of Justice