ALBANY, N.Y., June 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Before leaving Albany,
Governor Paterson and Legislature agreed to update New York's Identity
Theft laws. The legislation allows New Yorkers to place security freezes on
their credit either by phone or signing up over the internet with the
appropriate credit agency.
Security freezes block most entities from gaining access to an
individual's credit information and also prevents unauthorized persons from
opening new accounts or borrowing money using another's personal
information. Currently, the only way to sign up for this identity theft
tool is to send a certified letter to the various credit reporting
"The leadership of the Governor Paterson, Senator Fuschillo and
Assemblywoman Pheffer creates easy access to this essential identity theft
tool," said Lois Aronstein. "This legislation enhances the existing law
providing a convenient way for New Yorkers to keep identity thieves from
getting their hands on their personal credit information."
According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2007 New York ranked
sixth out of fifty states in the number of per capita identity theft
complaints. An AARP study from November 2007 found that 81 percent of older
consumers are concerned about becoming a victim of identity theft.
The following security freeze provisions are in the new Identity Theft
-- Allow consumers to request a freeze on their credit reports via
telephone or over the internet. Hidden List
-- Require credit reporting agencies to place a security freeze on an
individual's credit report within 24 hours of receiving notice.
-- Require credit bureaus to "thaw" a consumer's credit file
within 15 minutes of receipt of the request.
-- Creates Identity Theft Prevention and Mitigation Program to be
administered by the Consumer Protection Board to assist identity theft
victims in undoing the damage that the identity thief has done to their
financial and credit history.
The legislation also prohibits employers from posting or displaying an
employee's Social Security number, or placing Social Security numbers in
files with open access. In addition, it proposes to make it illegal to
posses a skimmer device, which can obtain personal identifying information
such as numbers from credit cards.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps
people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are
beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not
endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either
political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the
definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation
magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source
for AARP's 39 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the
only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic
community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated
charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older
persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and
sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
SOURCE AARP New York State