INDIANAPOLIS - In observance of Data Privacy Day, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller today encouraged Hoosiers to take advantage of the free security freeze available to all Indiana residents. A freeze blocks an identity thief from opening a new account or obtaining credit and keeps new creditors from accessing a credit report without permission.
"Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in Indiana and it's a fact of life that we all need to take the appropriate steps to safeguard our personal information to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft," Zoeller said. "A security freeze is an effective method to stop would-be thieves from steeling your identity and affords a peace of mind."
State law permits Indiana residents to request a free security freeze with the three credit reporting agencies. Temporary lifts of the freeze and password maintenance are also free. Data Privacy Day was created by the National Association of Attorneys General to increase awareness about the importance of data privacy and to educate consumers about ways to protect themselves from financial fraud or privacy offense. Zoeller is chair of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Consumer Protection Committee.
Millions of Americans are affected by data privacy issues that include sensitive personal information such as medical records accessed by unauthorized parties, identity theft, web-based information brokers selling sensitive personal data, and teens' private information retrieved on mobile devices and social networking sites.
"Guarding your personal information is every bit as important as protecting your wallet," said NAAG President and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. "Technology allows us to do things faster than ever before, but don't forget to take the time to keep your privacy and security settings updated."
To place a security freeze, either use each credit agency's online process or send a letter by certified mail to each of the three credit agencies:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Link: Place a Security Freeze Online with Equifax
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Link: Place a Security Freeze Online with Experian
Trans Union Security Freeze
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Link: Place a Security Freeze Online with Trans Union
Individuals can lift the freeze as needed for loan or mortgage applications or to open a new credit card. While similar security freezes are not free in many other states, it is completely free for Hoosiers. Before performing the freeze, be prepared to provide the following information:
- Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.,) address, Social Security number, and date of birth;
- Residential address history for the past five years;
- Proof of current address such as a utility or phone bill (alternative options include a bank, insurance, or credit card statement listing full name and address);
- Photocopy of a government issued identification card (state driver's license or ID card, military identification, etc.)
Victims of identity theft should file a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. Complaint forms are available online at http://www.indianaconsumer.com/. To request a form by mail call 1-800-382-5516.
- 30 -
« Back to News Release List
Link to this event: