Starting November 1, New Yorkers can use one of the strongest identity theft prevention laws in the country in order to safeguard their private information. New York State’s new security freeze law, which was authored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District), will allow consumers to block access to their credit information.
"Identity theft is one of the fastest growing consumer crimes, and can strike anyone at anytime in the blink of an eye," said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate's Consumer Protection Committee and an identity theft victim. "Blocking access to your credit information is one of the best ways to stop an identity thief from destroying your finances. This is a proactive defense that empowers consumers and gives New York State one of the strongest anti-identity theft laws in the country."
A security freeze prevents a consumer’s credit information from being released without their consent. If a consumer freezes their credit files, outside parties would be unable to view them without the consumer’s approval, which is given by using a special PIN number. Since banks and credit agencies usually do not issue new loans, credit, or mortgages without first viewing the applicant’s credit history, the security freeze prevents an identity thief from using a victim’s name to obtain these services, even if they have that person’s social security number.
Consumers who would like to place a security freeze on their credit information should send a certified or overnight U.S. Postal Service letter with their name, address, social security number, and date of birth to each of the three major credit bureaus.
- Equifax Security Freeze, PO Box 105788, Atlanta, Georgia, 30348
- Experian Security Freeze, PO Box 9554, Allen, Texas, 75013
- Trans Union Security Freeze, PO Box 6790, Fullerton, California, 92834-6790
Victims of identity theft who would like to freeze their credit files should include within their request a copy of a police report or complaint to a law enforcement agency about the identity theft.
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