Pavlov co-sponsors, Senate unanimously passes, identity theft protection measure

Lansing, Mich.–State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, has co-sponsored Senate Bill 174, a measure that would protect Michigan residents, especially children, from identity theft.

The bill would allow an individual to block access to their credit report upon a simple request.

Michigan is one of two states in the country that does not have a credit freeze law in place. The bill unanimously passed the Michigan Senate on Wednesday.

Identity theft occurs when an individual’s Social Security number is used for personal gain by another. Criminals can establish lines of credit, obtain driver’s licenses or even buy a house using another person’s identity.

Stealing the identities of children is an increasing concern. The largest study on child identity theft, conducted in 2010, found that of 40,000 children, 10.2 percent, or 4,311 children, were victims of identity theft.

“I am proud to co-sponsor laws that will protect Michigan residents from identity theft, which is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States,” said Pavlov. “Our children are especially vulnerable because they are not usually financially active and wouldn’t notice their personal information being used until later in life.”

A $10 fee could be charged by a consumer reporting agency for a placement or lifting of a security freeze.

SB 174 now moves to the House Committee on Financial Services.