Defend Your Dollars: Share this site! We support reforms to the financial marketplace to curb bad practices by banks and lenders.

Privacy

8.3 million Americans fall victim to identity theft each year. We’re pushing for reforms that give you the tools you need when your sensitive financial information is compromised or stolen.

Publications

  • Security Freeze

    Prevent the most costly and difficult to detect form of identity theft ― false new accounts opened in your name. Find out if your state offers stronger protection from identity theft.

  • Model State Clean Credit and Identity Theft Protection Act

    The State Clean Credit and Identity Theft Protection Act offers specific, workable provisions that state legislatures can adopt to reduce the risk of identity theft and to give consumers tools to prevent some of the harm from identity theft. The model law offers types of protections and of these that have actually been adopted by state legislatures. This model law was prepared by CU and the State PIRGs.

  • Things to Consider When Deciding Whether to Place a Security Freeze

    You’ve been reading and hearing about the “security freeze” to stop new account identity theft. Should you get a security freeze? Here is some information from Consumers Union about this personal choice.

  • Are you experiencing problems with your security freeze?

    Are you experiencing problems with your security freeze? If you need to speak with a representative at the three major credit reporting agencies regarding a problem with your security freeze, please call them at these phone numbers: Equifax 800-846-5279 TransUnion 888-909-8872 Experian 800-821-8805 If you are still experiencing problems with obtaining information about your credit Continue Reading

  • Frequently asked questions about security freeze

    Credit card companies, merchants, other businesses, and government entities do not always adequately safeguard consumers’ private financial information.

  • Wyoming

    Eligibility: All consumers
    Fees: No fees for identity theft victims. All others pay $10 to place the freeze, lift it temporarily, or remove it altogether.
    Note: Requires electronic and telephone methods to lift, imposes the 15 minute lift time frame starting September 1, 2008.
    Effective date of law: July 1, 2007
    Permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer.
    Copy of Wyoming’s security freeze law
    Instructions for using Wyoming’s security freeze law

  • Wisconsin

    Eligibility: All consumers
    Fees: No fee for an “individual who submits evidence satisfactory to the CRAs that the individual made a report to a law enforcement agency.” All others pay $10 to place, temporarily lift, or remove the freeze altogether.
    Effective date of law: January 1, 2007
    Permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer.
    Copy of Wisconsin’s security freeze law
    Instructions for using Wisconsin’s security freeze law

  • West Virginia

    Eligibility: All consumers.
    Fees: No fees for identity theft victims. All others pay $5 to place the freeze, lift it temporarily, or remove it altogether.
    Effective date of the law: July 2, 2007
    Permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer.
    Copy of West Virginia’s security freeze law
    Instructions for using West Virginia’s security freeze law

  • Washington

    Eligibility: Currently applies to identity theft victims, including persons who receive a notice of a security breach of computerized personal information. Beginning September 1, 2008, all consumers will be eligible for the freeze.
    Fees: No fees for identity theft victims or seniors aged 65 years and older. Once all other consumers become eligible in September 2008, they will pay $10 to place the freeze, lift it temporarily, or remove it altogether.
    Effective date of law: July 24, 2005 for identity theft victims; September 1, 2008 for all consumers
    Permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer.
    Copy of Washington’s security freeze law
    Instructions for using Washington’s security freeze law from WA’s Attorney General

  • Virginia

    Eligibility: All consumers.
    Fees: No fees for identity theft victims with police reports. All others pay a $10 fee to place the freeze.
    Effective date of law: July 1, 2008
    Permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer.
    Copy of Virginia’s security freeze law
    Instructions for using Virginia’s security freeze law

Page 2 of 2112345...1020...Last »

Press Releases

Page 2 of 3123

Blog Posts

  • ID Theft Alert: Digital Copiers

    CBS ran a story about what they found on four digital copiers.

  • America’s Most Wanted takes on Identity Theft

    Guest Post: Jaimee Napp, Executive Director, Identity Theft Action Council of Nebraska

  • Consumers Union Activist passes strong ID Freeze law

    Congratulations to Jaimee Knapp and Nebraska for passing the Security Freeze Enhancement bill into law!
    Without Jaimee Napp, Nebraskans probably wouldn’t have the identity theft protections they have today. She came to Consumers Union only a few years ago as an identity theft victim motivated to make change. Since then, she has set up Identity Theft Action Council of Nebraska and has brought awareness to legislators, media and the public.

  • To Catch An Identity Thief…For Free

    Chances are, you’ve been offered an identity theft service by your credit card company or bank, or seen an ad during a baseball game, or bombarded with offerings to prevent identity theft from happening to you just about everywhere you go…and of course, for a fee. But do these services actually work, and what exactly do they do? Consumer Federation of America has a new report, “To Catch a Thief: Are Identity Theft Services Worth the Cost?” to help answer these important questions.

  • Nebraska Identity Theft Bill Advances

    GUEST POST by Jaimee Napp, Executive Director of Identity Theft Action Council of Nebraska:

    Recently, the Nebraska Unicameral unanimously gave its first round approval to a security freeze enhancement bill (LB 177). In 2007, Nebraska passed The Credit Report Protection Act allowing all Nebraska consumers to freeze their credit.

  • New report grades banks, insurers and brokers on financial privacy.

    The Consumer Federation of California Education Fund, a nonprofit not affiliated with Consumers Union, has issued a “Financial Privacy Report Card,” describing the privacy policies of banks and other financial institutions doing business in California.

  • To the Grad: Words of Wisdom from Consumer Advocates

    Congrats graduates! Money mom would like to share a recent article that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle which provides some money management wisdom from consumer advocates around the country.

  • What the Postal Service and the FTC didn’t say about ID theft

    Money Mom and many of her colleagues at Consumers Union got a brochure in the mail this past week from the Postal Service warning about identity theft. The brochure is from the Federal Trade Commission and tells consumers how to “Deter, Detect and Defend” themselves from identity thieves… with one glaring oversight: no information on how to place a security freeze.

  • Read your bank statements carefully

    Money Mom’s Monday Tip: Read Your Bank Statements Carefully

  • Telephone check? Could the Wachovia “demand draft” problem happen to you?

    Did you know that your bank can pay someone from your checking account because that person says you authorized it – even though you never signed a check?

Page 2 of 912345...Last »

News Articles

  • Connecticut Governor signs ID theft law
    Source: Insurance Journal (Sunday July 10, 2005)

    Under a new law signed by Governor M. Jodi Rell, consumers in Connecticut will have the right to put a security freeze on their credit files to prevent identity thieves from opening new credit accounts in their names.

  • Feds lag on ID theft notification
    Source: CBS News (Tuesday June 28, 2005)

    While California requires companies to notify consumers about data security breaches and an increasing number of states are passing similar laws, Congress still hasn’t enacted a federal notice requirement.

  • 40 million credit cards hacked
    Source: CNN (Friday June 17, 2005)

    Over 40 million card accounts were exposed to potential fraud due to a security breach that occurred at a third-party processor of payment card transactions.

  • States scramble to protect data
    Source: Washington Post (Saturday April 9, 2005)

    Lawmakers in numerous states around the country are considering bills to give consumers the right to put a security freeze on their credit files to keep identity thieves from opening new accounts in their names.

  • Is your personal data next?
    Source: MSNBC (Monday April 4, 2005)

    The recent rash of data security breaches has put an estimated two million Americans at risk of identity theft and underscored the need for stronger consumer safeguards.

  • Social Security numbers widely available
    Source: Washington Post (Sunday April 3, 2005)

    Despite public outcry over recent identity theft scandals, Social Security numbers remain widely available to would-be crooks.

  • Editorial: Freeze identity theft
    Source: Seattle Times (Tuesday March 15, 2005)

    The Seattle Times editorializes in favor of legislation to allow Washington State residents to put a security freeze on their credit files to thwart identity thieves.

  • Privacy Showdown
    Source: Forbes (Wednesday August 11, 2004)

    Financial industry trade groups have gone to court to try to stop a California law that gives consumers new rights to protect their financial privacy. The outcome of the court fight will decide the fate of the strictest state privacy law on the books and whether federal law preempts such state laws.

Page 2 of 212