Senator Saland Announces Senate Passage Of Legislation To Protect Consumers From Identity Theft

Stephen M. Saland

May 17, 2006

Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that legislation he has sponsored to allow consumers who are either identity theft victims, or are concerned that they might be at risk of having their identities stolen, to cut off an identity thief's access to credit, loans, leases, goods and services by placing a "freeze" on their consumer credit report.

"This security freeze acts as a barricade against those who would commit fraud," Senator Saland said. "Identity thieves have already preyed on thousands of New York consumers, stealing personal information that leaves consumers severely at risk. This law enables consumers to avoid victimization by empowering them to place security freezes on their consumer reports."

"I was pleased to have worked closely in drafting this legislation with Senator Charles Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection," said Senator Saland.

New York State already has laws criminalizing identity theft by requiring consumer reporting agencies to correct false credit information and notify consumers when thieves steal consumers' personal information. However, per capita, New York still ranks 8th in the nation in the number of identity theft complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and third in the total number of identity theft complaints filed.

"Identity theft remains a major concern, costing victims millions of dollars each year and the stress of clearing their names and righting their credit. This legislation will enable New York consumers to proactively defend themselves from identity theft and can effectively cut off a thief's ability to get credit, loans and leases in their name," Saland concluded.