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Maryland passes first child identity theft law

Jan 06, 2013 Dave King

An increasing amount of attention has been paid attention to the rising rate of identity theft among minors. Some are now taking action to protect children.

Lawmakers in Maryland passed an identity theft law, which allows parents to freeze their children's credit at any time, The Associated Press reports. The law is the first of its kind in the United States.

According to the new legislation, credit agencies will no longer be able to lock the credit of children, because they do not have a pre-existing credit report. Maryland legislators contended that if children had a report on file, their identities' had likely already been compromised, the news source explains.

The law will also likely benefit the elderly and developmentally disabled residents of the state, State Representative Craig Zucker told the AP. It is set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

A study from Javelin Strategy and Research found the incidence of identity theft among minors to be reaching a "crisis level," with one in 40 U.S. households reporting at least one child was a victim of identity theft.