Easier Credit Freeze to Combat ID Theft Needed
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) is pursuing efforts to combat identity theft with the introduction of a new bill today to make it easier for consumers to freeze their credit.
“Freezing credit is a great tool to combat identity theft, but there is no reason why consumers should need to contact each agency separately. Further, freezing one’s credit can be complicated and time consuming. If you don’t know all the agencies and their telephone numbers you’re out of luck.” explained Assemblymember Quirk.
In October 2017, the personal information of over 145 million Americans was compromised with the Equifax credit breach. Americans were advised to closely monitor their credit for any changes in activity and advised to take precautionary action – including freezing their credit. There are three main credit bureaus that monitor credit activity – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
A freeze on one’s credit restricts access to a credit report. Most creditors need to see an individual’s credit before approving a new account. By placing a freeze on their credit, consumers can prevent would-be identity thieves from opening fraudulent credit cards or loans.
“Under AB 1742 when a consumer contacts a credit agency to set up a freeze, that agency must offer to set up freezes with the other credit agencies on the consumer’s behalf. No more time lost looking up phone numbers or dealing with automated answering systems. Consumers will still be able to choose to freeze a specific report if they want, and a freeze will still come with the same identity protections,” said Assemblymember Quirk. “This bill is about simplifying the process and protecting Californians” he continued.
AB 1742 will be eligible to be heard in Committee in February.