California Law SB 168 (Debra Bowen) Identity Theft Prevention

California was the first state to pass a “credit freeze” (also known as a “security freeze”). The credit freeze portion of this bill went into effect January 1, 2003. This allows a consumer to “freeze” their credit record at each credit bureau. Similar credit freeze laws have been passed for many states.

You will need to contact each credit bureau to completely freeze your credit. You can head on over to our California Credit Freeze Instructions page for more info.

Here’s a short Q & A on what I’ve learned so far about the credit freeze: (Find
additional SB168 details below.)

How will a credit freeze protect me?
Placing a security freeze on your credit reports means an identity thief — even one who has your name, address, Social Security number, birth date and more — will not be able to get new loans and credit in your name. That’s because lenders, retailers, utilities and other businesses need access to a credit report to review and approve new credit, loans, and services.

 

Who can freeze their credit?
Any citizen of California can freeze their credit. Similar legislation is now in place for Texas, Louisiana & Vermont and many other states.

 

How do I freeze my credit?
You can head on over to our California Credit Freeze Instructions page for more info.

 

How much will it cost?
Victims of identity theft can access the service for free. You’ll have to provide documentation, however, from a police report or the DMV. For others, the cost is $10.

 

Isn’t this just another way for the credit bureaus to get more money from us?
It might seem that way, but Californians should feel lucky that this is available. Fraud alerts are ignored by some creditors and a security freeze provides a much stronger means of protection. The service is free for victims, and believe me, they are glad to have the option.

 

Will
I need to freeze my report with each credit bureau?
Yes.
When you go to buy a new car, open a charge account, or refinance
your house, you don’t know which bureau the lender will use
to request your report. In other words, for the best protection
you’ll need to freeze your credit at each bureau.

 

Author: Dave Nielsen

I started using computers in 1978 on the Apple II and was first online (using my “high-speed” 1200 baud modem) in 1989. I’ve managed web sites for several Fortune 500 companies and for internet start-ups. Working for one of those start-ups is what brought me into the world of credit. I was part of the the executive team that ran QSpace, the first company to offer credit reports over the internet.

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