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Children's Security Freezes

A special type of security freeze can protect the credit of children and some adults.
 
North Carolina parents now have an additional tool to help them protect their children from becoming victims of identity theft. The new law allows parents of children under the age of 16 to set up a Protected Consumer security freeze for their children. Parental guardians, guardians ad litem, and those who have written legal authority to protect incapacitated adults can also use this law.

Having a Protected Consumer security freeze in place prevents anyone from taking out credit in the child’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’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 documentation proving:

  • Who you are (a copy of your driver license, a utility bill showing your name and address, your SS card, or your SSN)
  • Who the child is (a copy of the child’s SS card, or their SSN)
  • That you are their parent (an official/certified copy of the child’s birth certificate)

You must provide this information to each of the three nationwide credit bureaus by mail. Visit their websites or call the numbers below for details. (Note: These links will take you to the websites for the three credit bureaus. These sites are separate from www.ncdoj.gov.) 

Equifax Experian * TransUnion
Equifax Security
Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Experian Security
Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
TU Protected
Consumer Freeze
P.O. Box 380
Atlanta, GA 30348 Allen, TX 75013 Woodlyn, PA 19094
1-800-685-1111 1-888-397-3742 1-800-916-8800








* Select "Add a Security Freeze", and then select "Place a Security Freeze on Minor's Credit File"

Each credit bureau can charge a fee of $5.00 to establish a credit report in your child’s name and then place a Protected Consumer security freeze on it. The fee will be waived if:

  • You can prove that your child has already been a victim of identity theft (police report, etc.)
  • A credit report in your child’s name already exists (credit bureau will research this)

When the child reaches adulthood and is ready to begin establishing a credit history, the freeze can be removed using the same steps that were taken to establish it. The credit bureaus can charge $5 to remove a Protected Consumer security freeze and must process the request within 30 days.

To provide ongoing protection against identity theft it is recommended that the young adult establish their own security freezes after their Protected Consumer security freezes are removed. These freezes can be temporarily removed (or “thawed”) within a matter of minutes when he or she is applying for a new line of credit. Security freezes for adults are free if they are administered online.