Says Stream of Hacks & Data Breaches Increases Need for Consumer Vigilance
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) has introduced legislation to help consumers to better protect themselves from credit fraud and identity theft following a string of massive hacks and security breaches that have exposed the personal details of millions of Americans.
Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s legislation would allow consumers to obtain three free credit reports annually to better guard against credit fraud and identity theft. (©iStock)
“Our most sensitive financial information is held in massive online databases that we’re promised are secure,” said Pennacchio. “Too often, however, we’ve found that the financial institutions and retailers that we trusted weren’t able to keep our private information safe. Their repeated failures have put virtually every American at risk for credit fraud and identity theft. We need to give people the tools to fight back.”
Pennacchio’s new legislation would allow New Jersey consumers to obtain three free credit reports annually from each of the credit reporting agencies.
Current state law only requires one credit report to be provided at no cost to consumers each year.
The legislation was prompted by a suggestion from a constituent who was concerned about the cost of trying to more closely monitor his credit following recent data breaches.
“With a consumer’s hacked information, an identity thief can take out credit cards and even mortgages in the victim’s name,” added Pennacchio. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to check your credit report for fraud on a frequent basis. Our effort to provide access to more free credit reports will make that possible for New Jersey consumers without the need to incur an additional cost.”
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