(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Attorney General Mike DeWine recently sent letters to the state's public children services agencies offering help in meeting a new federal mandate requiring youth at least 16 years old and within the foster system to have their credit checked. The mandate also requires the clearance of any errors found on their credit report.
"Unfortunately, foster youth can be especially vulnerable to becoming victims of identity theft," said Attorney General DeWine. "Working with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and county foster care systems, we stand ready to help correct any problems found in these annual credit checks."
"Providing these credit checks is one small way we can smooth the transition from foster care to adulthood," said Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Michael Colbert. "At ODJFS, we are committed to helping young people leaving foster care find work or attend college and become successful adults. Identifying and correcting errors on their credit reports will help, and I appreciate the Attorney General's assistance."
The federal law requires that foster youth ages 16 – 18 receive an annual credit check. As those checks are conducted by county public children services agencies, any errors found will be handled by the recently formed Identity Theft Unit within the Consumer Protection Section of the Ohio Attorney General's Office. This unit also offers services to any Ohioan to assist in remedying the effects of identity theft.
The letter sent to the county public children services agencies included an affidavit to be filled out by youth who are found to have errors on their credit report. After assisting the foster youth in checking their credit report, county public children services agencies will then send the report and the affidavit to the Attorney General's Identity Theft Unit to resolve any issues.
Any Ohioan who is a victim of identity theft should first contact local law enforcement. Further assistance in rectifying errors can be obtained at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 1-800-282-0515.
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti -- 614-466-3840