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Md. passes measure to address child identity theft

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland lawmakers have approved a first-of-its-kind measure to enable parents to protect their children from having their credit damaged by identity theft.

The measure, which a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley says he is likely to sign, will allow parents to take the step of freezing their child's credit at any time.

Supporters hope it will be a model for other states to protect not only children, but also disabled and elderly people.

Under current law, credit agencies must place a security freeze on the credit of anyone who requests it. However, they can refuse to lock the credit of those who do not have a pre-existing credit report. That's a problem for children. If they have a credit report, it likely means they're already a victim of fraud.