Identity theft is one of the top crimes worldwide. We have to contend with security breaches, hacks, scams, and so much more that make us vulnerable to having our information stolen. Federal laws exist that allow consumers to contact any of the three credit reporting agencies—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—to place a freeze on their credit file. A credit freeze makes it harder for thieves to open up fraudulent new accounts and lines of credit. But starting in September 2018, thanks to a new federal law, consumers can freeze and unfreeze their credit file for free.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act requires that credit reporting agencies act right away on freeze/unfreeze requests. If a consumer requests a credit freeze online or by phone, the freeze is in place by the next business day. Should the consumer request that the freeze be lifted, they must do so within an hour.
The Federal Trade Commission and the credit reporting agencies will set up web pages to provide more information and instructions to make it easier for consumers to learn of and take advantage of their new rights. Consumers should be aware that they may need to contact each credit reporting agency individually to freeze/unfreeze their credit file.
More information on “How To Place A Credit Freeze” and “Identity Theft” can be found on our website at www.checkbca.org.
About Business Consumer Alliance
Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.