New Jersey – The Consumer’s Paradise

Posted on 03. Jan, 2006 by in News

The Wall Street Journal reported today that a New Jersey law that took effect with the new year aims to crack down on identity-theft crimes by allowing residents to freeze access to personal credit reports.

Under the new law, New Jersey residents can “freeze” their credit report so that identity thieves cannot obtain a mortgage or a credit card – even with the owner’s social security number. ” The only downside to the freezing is the thawing – which will cost you $5. But $5 is chump change when you consider the potential damage an identity thief could inflict on an unfrozen credit report.

The new law also includes a number of other nuggets of consumer protection goodness:

  • Requires businesses of all sizes to destroy unneeded consumer records and report security breaches to customers.
  • Social Security numbers can no longer be used on identity badges, membership cards or used to allow the holder to gain access to products or services.”
  • Requires companies to notify people when their private information has been improperly breached or disclosed.(California beat them to this one)
  • Requires companies to destroy paper and electronic records of customers when the data is no longer needed.
  • Bars anyone from posting a person’s Social Security number, or four or more consecutive digits of the number.
  • Social Security numbers cannot be in any mailing, unless required by state or federal law. However, people can still include their numbers in mailed applications and other materials.
  • Requires that a resident’s local police department take a report when a resident reports identity theft.

Wow! My advice to you: call, write, email, or visit your congressmen in order to get a similar law passed in your home state as well as for the nation as a whole. New Jersey is worried that current laws being considered in Washington with far weaker teeth might supersede the phenomenal work that is going on in the state. My hats off to New Jersey – a shining example of protecting the consumer from the ever-increasing threat of identity theft.

Identity Theft, New Jersey, Social Security Number, Credit Report, Freezing Credit Report

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