Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Press Release: Rep. Jon Hardister Passes Consumer Protection Bill

August 12, 2015

For Immediate Release

Raleigh, NC - Today Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) held a press conference along with Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Orange) to discuss the importance of HB 607 - Allow Protected Consumer Security Freezes - which was recently signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory. Reps. Hardister and Meyer are the primary sponsors of the bill.

The bill is designed to prevent identity theft for children and disabled adults who have a limited ability to monitor their own credit. It would allow the parent or legal guardian of a minor (under 16 years of age) to freeze a child's credit to prevent loans or services (such as a credit card account) from being approved in the child's name. The same protections would be allowed for an adult who has a legal guardian, such as someone who is disabled or incapacitated.

This would extend the general procedures that are in place for an individual "consumer" through the Identify Theft Protection Act of 2005 to children and disabled adults.

"This bill addresses a serious problem related to the identity theft of children and adults who are disabled," Hardister said. "Children are especially at-risk of identity theft because it can take a while to detect the crime. There have been cases when a parent did not realize that their child's identity was stolen until years after the crime occurred."

Hardister also said that the problem related to child identity theft has gotten worse due to advancements in computer technology.

The bill passed both the House and Senate on a unanimous vote.

"This is a good, bipartisan bill that provides a reasonable way for children and disabled adults to protect their identity," Hardister said. "The passage of this bill allows millions of citizens a new safeguard to protect themselves from fraud."

Rep. Jon Hardister

Rep. Graig Meyer (left) and Rep. Jon Hardister speaking at press conference.