New AARP Survey Shows Overwhelming Public Support for Credit Report Security Freeze
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna joined legislators and leaders from AARP and the Washington Credit Union League today in encouraging the state Legislature to give all Washington residents the opportunity to freeze access to their credit reports. They believe a preventative security freeze bill is needed to help individuals protect themselves from potential identity theft and financial destruction.
Actuality #1: “Unfortunately, right now consumers must wait until they are a victim before being able to freeze their credit. It’s like having a law that says you can’t put a deadbolt on your door until your house has been burglarized.” (10 seconds)
Eighteen of the 23 states that have enacted security freeze laws allow proactive requests to be made by consumers regardless of circumstances. Washington’s law allows only identity theft victims and people whose information was stolen in a data breach to request a freeze. Then it requires consumers to submit a police report and send their request via certified mail.
The Legislature is currently considering three measures that would allow all consumers to freeze their credit to prevent identity theft. McKenna said all three include his top priorities for protecting consumers.
Actuality #2: “We will support any of the proposed bills, as long as they meet two key principles: 1) a credit freeze must be made available to all Washington consumers, and 2) a quick and easy “thaw” mechanism must be provided.” (12 seconds)
A recent AARP survey found that the vast majority of Washington state consumers (85 percent) support security freeze legislation, and 79 percent of respondents would sign up to place a freeze on their credit reports if that service were available to them.
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A full copy of AARP’s February 2007 report, “Whose Credit is it Anyway?” is available on AARP’s website at www.aarp.org/wa.
Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, (206) 464-6432, firstname.lastname@example.org