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New ID Credit Freeze Chillin’ Out Thieves

September 22, 2008

Boise, ID – The new Idaho "credit freeze" is chillin' out thieves. A new state law to protect against credit fraud is on the books, allowing people to stop access to their credit reports. Idahoans are being encouraged to use it, if they suspect their identity has been stolen or they're a possible victim of credit fraud.

AARP State President Peggy Munson says her organization's volunteers worked hard to get the law on the books because, although anyone can be singled out by identity theft scams, it's especially tough for people on fixed incomes to recover from losing thousands of dollars.

"Anybody, at any time, can have their ID stolen. When it happens to a senior citizen, they can't recover - they can't go back to work, and work for years."

Credit agencies are required to put a freeze on the account within three business days of receiving the written request. The temporary freeze of credit information costs $6 each for the three credit agencies, but filing a police report can eliminate that cost, according to the state law. Munson says people may not think to file a police report when they notice something amiss with their personal finances - but they should.

"If they are a victim of fraud and they have a police report, it costs nothing."

Credit agency contact information is available on the Idaho Attorney General's Web site (www2.state.id.us/ag). Some businesses were initially concerned a credit freeze could hurt sales of big-ticket items that usually require loans. However, because the freeze can be lifted for those instances, businesses generally have come to support the new law.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ID