Help Massachusetts Residents Prevent Identity Theft
One of the most common types of identity theft is the “new
account” variety, where a criminal uses stolen information to open new
credit cards and loan accounts in your name. A credit report security freeze allows an
individual to voluntarily choose to restrict access to her/his credit
report. A credit report security freeze can make it more difficult for
criminals to steal an identity by opening new accounts in someone’s name.
It does not affect the person’s credit score, and can be removed at any
The three major credit reporting agencies — Experian,
Equifax, and TransUnion — each charge
a $5 fee every time a Massachusetts resident requests that a credit report
security freeze be placed on her/his credit file. Residents must also pay an
additional $5 fee to each agency every time they request removal of a freeze on
their credit file.
Massachusetts residents who have been victims of identity theft
may place a credit report security freeze on their file at each agency without
paying a fee as long as they provide a copy of a police report detailing the ID
theft. To check their credit file, however, victims must pay an $8 fee per
agency to obtain a copy of their credit report.
H.134/S.130 would remove all fees when placing, suspending and/or removing a credit report security
freeze — regardless of the number of times a freeze is placed
or removed — and would also remove the $8 credit report fee for those
who are victims of identity theft.
Write your representatives and ask them to support
H.134/S.130 – An Act Removing Fees for Securiy Freezes and Disclosures of
Consumer Credit Reports
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Dear [Decision Maker],
Older adults in Massachusetts are increasingly the target of identity theft and financial exploitation. Individuals age 50-59 are the most common target for identity theft, with over 8,500 complaints of identity theft in Massachusetts in 2015, according to the Federal Trade Commission. One of the best ways to protect against identity theft is by placing a security freeze on your credit report, preventing thieves from opening new accounts under your name. As your constituent I ask you to support HB134/SB130 - An Act Removing Fees for Security Freezes and Disclosures of Consumer Credit Reports Sponsored by Representative Jennifer Benson and Senator Barbara L'Italien.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]