Credit Freeze Law
As I wrote on the recent postcard mailing, the Credit Freeze Law went into effect in Georgia on August 1, 2008. Now you can have 100% protection against credit based identity fraud. In order to protect yourself, you send a letter by certified mail to each of the three credit reporting agencies. The letter must contain:
- Your $3 payment by money order or check
- Your Name
- Your Address
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- A copy of a government-issued identification card, such as a driver's license.
- A copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement. Credit card statements, voided checks, lease agreements, magazine subscriptions will not cut the mustard.
Send your request by certified mail to all three credit reporting agencies:
Equifax: Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348; 1-800-685-1111, www.equifax.com.
Experian: Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013; 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com (look for "security freeze" link).
TransUnion: TransUnion Security Freeze, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834; 1-888-909-8872, www.transunion.com (look for "security freeze" link under "identity theft" section).
How do I unfreeze it when I want to open a new account at Target to get that whopping 10% off? This is the cool part: you get a PIN number and can unlock it in 15 minutes either online or over the phone. Keep your credit under lock and key!
For more information, surf on over to Georgia Watch, a consumer watchdog for our state.