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H.R.5192 - Protecting Children from Identity Theft Act

To authorize the Commissioner of Social Security to provide confirmation of fraud protection data to certain permitted entities, and for other purposes.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe that the Social Security Administration (SSA) should create a database that allows financial institutions to target “synthetic” fraud identification or fraud when a social security number is stolen and used with made up data with the intent of obtaining a credit line.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe the SSA already has database to verify certain fraud schemes. Creating a new database is not needed.

Watch Rep. Corbelo defend the bill

The Protecting Children from Identity Theft Act would require the Social Security Administration to create a database that could be used by certain financial institutions to prevent identity theft. Specifically, the database would target “synthetic” fraud identification, which is when a social security number is stolen and used with made up data to obtain a credit line.

Synthetic fraud is common among children and immigrants, who have a minimal credit history. According to sponsor of the bill Rep. Carlos Curbelo, one out of ten children have had their Social Security number stolen, impacting their credit history and score before even becoming adults. “We need to ensure that fraud detection is modernized to stop these crimes from continuing to negatively impact American families. This legislation is an effective, bipartisan solution that would limit synthetic ID fraud and help protect millions of identities from being stolen,” says Rep. Curbelo.

According to Curbelo’s press release on the legislation, data studies show that children’s identities are stolen at a rate of about 50 times more frequently than adults, and the information is utilized by identity thieves to apply for loans, utility accounts, property accounts, driver’s licenses, and vehicle registrations. “The long-term consequences can leave children and families burdened with unintended debt, and a flawed credit history.”

The database would have to allow financial institutions to submit multiple requests and receive responses within a 24 hour time frame. Those requests would have to be made with the consent of the consumer whose information is being requested. Financial institutions would have to compliant with certain privacy and data security requirements before having access to the database. The legislation would allow the SSA to conduct audits with the intent of avoiding fraud or misuse and could cancel access to certain institutions who violate its requirements or deny to be audited. All misuse of the database would be enforced by the agency with the jurisdiction over that specific financial institution.

The cost of the database would be paid for by its users. The SSA could use funds designated for modernization of its IT resources but would need to offset the cost by collecting fees from users. The SSA would have to report all yearly database costs on a report to Congress. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the measure would not inflict any spending or revenue spending, since the costs are offset by its users.

The legislation passed the House on 04/17/18. The legislation is now being considered in the Senate Committee on Finance.


Sponsored by: Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26].

Cosponsored by: 10 Rep / 4 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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