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Tennessee Consumer Affairs says It’s Never Too Early To Protect Children’s Information

 

Tennessee Department of Commerce and InsuranceNashville, TN – Identity thieves don’t care whether their victims are old or young.  All they care about is stealing valuable information they can use in their frauds and schemes.

As the new school year kicks into high gear, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs reminds busy parents not to take their children’s personal information for granted or falsely assume that identity thieves won’t target their children.

Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Urges Parents to Learn Good ID Protection Habits.

Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Urges Parents to Learn Good ID Protection Habits.

“Identity thieves are constantly searching for ways to pry personal information away from unsuspecting victims – including children,” said TDCI Deputy Commissioner Bill Giannini. “Parents should never think their kids are too young to be victims of crimes that can have lifelong consequences.”

While the Tennessee Privacy of School Records Laws, Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-504 (2015), generally protect the privacy of student records, parents should adopt some good habits in their everyday lives to help safeguard their children.

Consider:

  • Don’t share your child’s Social Security number unless it is to a trusted party.
  • Keep your child’s personal information (name, birth certificate, school paperwork) in a safe, secure location.
  • Shred any outdated documents containing your child’s personal information before throwing them away.
  • When asked for your child’s personal information, don’t be afraid to ask questions: “How will this information be used?”, “Who will have access?”, “How will it be kept safe?” and, “Can I opt out?”
  • Look for possible warning signs of identity theft such as your child receiving credit card applications.

In addition to building these good identity-theft protection habits, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-18-2111 gives parents or legal guardians the ability to enact a security freeze on persons under 16 years of age.

Generally, when the freeze is in place, consumer reporting agencies (e.g. TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) cannot release that person’s credit report, or any other information derived from the report, regarding that person unless the security freeze is removed.

To request a Security Freeze, simply contact the consumer reporting agency to request the freeze be placed. The maximum fee for placing or lifting a freeze for a protected consumer is $10.00 for each action.

For more information on how to request a security freeze visit http://www.tn.gov/consumer.

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance

Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance protects the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, Tennessee Corrections Institute, and TennCare Oversight.

To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to http://verify.tn.gov/


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