Monday, July 11, 2005

Legislature hopes law will freeze ID thieves

The Bend Bulletin
By Scott Domer

The Oregon Senate is expected to vote on legislation Monday that would give people the ability to freeze their credit reports as a way to block identity theft.

"We need to provide consumer options to protect themselves before they become victims," said Senator Floyd Prozanski, District 4, who will bring the builds the floor.

"Oregon ranks in the top 10 in reporting identity theft," Prozanski said,calling the fallout from methamphetamine a major contributor as addicts steal identities to finance their habit.

The bill would allow the security freeze only for new credit inquiries and would require consumers to send a certified request the three credit reporting bureaus. The firms were not available for comment Friday.

Once frozen, a consumer would have to contact the reporting bureaus to grant permission to open a report to a specific creditor or for a specified amount of time.

10 states already have similar laws in place.

Tom Perrick, president of the Oregon bankers Association, said the banking industry disagrees with the scope of the bill stating that "the bill is well-intentioned (but) is redundant."

Anyone who looks at the reports knows they been flagged for a security reasons.

Gee, here's a thought. There was a time when it was required if a company wanted to view your credit report, they "used to" have to have written permission to do so.

Now, credit reports are being pulled for just about everything.

For example, I still fail to understand why your car insurance company has the "right" to look at your credit report as a basis for how much they are going to charge you for insurance.

The theory is... "statistically, people who do not pay their bills on time are poor drivers" despite what they're driving record states.

I have got "notices" with my insurance bill that they are making inquiries to my credit history, which I think is interesting because I personally have never given my insurance company "permission" to view my credit history and I do not see any reason for them to do so unless I set up a credit account with them, and if I did that, chances are I would have give them written permission to pull my credit report.

Employers, are also making credit report inquiries on new employee applications without the knowledge of the employee.

and these are a only what I know for sure, who knows who else is looking at your credit report without your permission.

So in my opinion, if you want to reduce identity theft, tighten up security on who has access to your reports, because if a consumer needs to "freeze" an account, it is already too late.


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