Posted by & filed under Consumer Reports, Credit, Legal.

Oct 1, 2018

Starting September 21, 2018, consumers who are concerned about identity theft or data breaches can freeze their credit and place one-year fraud alerts for free.

Under the new Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, consumers in some states – those who previously had to pay fees to freeze their credit – will no longer have to do so.

A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, restricts access to a consumer’s credit file, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in the consumer’s name. The new law also allows parents to freeze for free the credit of their children who are under 16, while guardians, conservators, and those with a valid power of attorney can get a free freeze for their dependents.

To place a credit freeze on accounts, consumers will need to contact all three nationwide credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Whether consumers ask for a freeze online or by phone, the credit bureau must put the freeze in place within one business day. When consumers request to lift the freeze by phone or online, the credit bureaus must take that action within one hour. (If consumers make these requests by mail, the agency must place or lift the freeze within three business days.)

To place a fraud alert, consumers need only contact one of the three credit bureaus, which will notify the other two bureaus.

You can check out the full article from the FTC here.

Credit Freeze Law – Information from Experian

Please note the following update which affects Business Owner Profiles and consumer reports…

US Bill 2155 was signed into law 5/21/18. This law has several components, and it’s most pressing statue requires all Freeze, Thaws, and Lifts to a Credit File to be free of charge to the consumer as of 9/21/18. It also requires that the Initial 90 day Fraud Alert messages remain on a consumer’s report for one year.

Federal File Freeze Fees
For every state in the United States, there will be no charge to a consumer to set a Freeze, request a Thaw (Temporarily Remove the Freeze), or Lift (Permanent Remove the Freeze) from his/her credit file, effective 9/20/2018.

Client Freeze Message Verbiage Change

When a File is frozen and access is denied the following message will be returned:

File Frozen due to Federal Legislation

Fraud Alert Retention
Initial Fraud Alert retention will be changed from 90 days to one year. Clients should be aware of this change in retention in case they need to modify their own internal systems. On file Initial Alerts that have not expired, will be extended to one year.

The following messages may be returned:

ID Security Alert: Fraudulent applications may be submitted in my name or my identity may have been used without my consent to fraudulently obtain goods or services. Do not extend credit without first verifying the identity of the applicant. This Security Alert will be maintained for 1 year beginning MM-DD-YY.

 

 ID Security Alert: Fraudulent applications may be submitted in my name or my identity may have been used without my consent to fraudulently obtain goods or services. Do not extend credit without first verifying the identity of the applicant. I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXXEXTXXXXX. This Security Alert will be maintained for 1 year beginning MM-DD-YY

Permissible Purposes for Employment and Insurance

The new Federal Bill allows access to all frozen files when accessing for Employment or Insurance.

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