CALL 6: Freezing children's credit isn't hassle free

INDIANAPOLIS -- Chad and Melanie Hilton are looking to protect their 8-month-old son’s social security number from cyber crooks and are hoping freezing his credit could be made easier.

“We're trying to freeze Colt's credit as the last thing we need is to steal identity and start opening lines of credit and opening bills in his name," said Chad.

The Hiltons like most Hoosiers became concerned after the recent Equifax data breach.

When they went to the Equifax site and entered their social security numbers, they received a message that read: 

“Based on information provided, we believe your personal information may have been impacted by this incident."

The Hilton are among the 4 million Hoosiers whose personal information is impacted. Colt's social security number was not in the Equifax database, since at 8 months old he has no credit history.

But he has a social security number that in the hands of a cyber-crook is like hitting the jackpot.

“It should be so much easier to freeze his credit. It should be as easy as placing his social security number like it was for ours,” said Melanie.

For adults getting a credit freeze is simple. You can do it online with your social security number.
For a child under 16 years, it's not so easy.

Indiana is one of 22 states that allows parents to request a child credit freeze from the three credit bureaus.

The process is not uniform. For the most part, they will ask for your request in writing and to mail in sensitive information like a copy of a birth certificate and social security card.

Melanie said the process shouldn’t be as difficult as the couple has found.  

“Why should I have to send copies of his sensitive information like his birth certificate or social security card in order to freeze his credit,” she said.

Chad said he agrees.

"It shouldn't be that difficult. It's our credit. We should be able to lock it. If I want to lock it, we can unlock same thing for a minor," said Chad.

Their concerns are valid. Thousands of kids nationwide are victims of identity theft and only find out when they apply for a college or car loan. 

The state's consumer protection division says they're not aware of any plans to change the current system, unless a state legislator decides to take action.

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