Massachusetts Gets In On The Fight Against Identity Theft

Identity Theft Is Getting Harder In Massachusetts

State by state, more US. citizens are being protected by laws that fight identity theft. Yesterday, Massachusetts was added to the list of states doing something to protect their citizens from the crime. On Friday, August 3rd, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill into law -- and that bill is making identity theft harder for the criminals of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Residents Have the Right to Say "Freeze!"

The identity theft prevention law will go into effect in 90 days and Massachusetts residents who are worried about identity theft will rest a bit easier when that day comes. Now they will be able to pay a $5 fee to put a freeze on their credit reports, ensuring that no one can open a credit account in their name.

A credit freeze, however, is not all this new identity theft law is providing for Massachusetts residents. Now, if a consumer's personal information is lost or stolen from a business (as we have seen happen in recent news) that company is not allowed to keep the slip-up under wraps. The company will have to notify all consumers who have been affected, and they'll have to do so in a timely manner.

What else does this new identity theft law do? It requires that all documents that contain sensitive information be burned, pulverized or shredded instead of just tossed away and it also allows victims of identity theft to get a copy of a police report from any law enforcement office no matter where the identity theft crime actually occurred.

When a consumer gets a copy of the police report, they can request a credit freeze and the $5 fee will be waived. That's good news for victims of identity theft who feel they shouldn't have to pay (even if it is just $5) to recover from the crime.

Will Others Follow Suit?

Massachusetts wasn't the first state to take action against identity theft, and we remain hopeful that they won't be the last. With identity theft coming to the forefront of the public eye, more politicians will be compelled to do something about the crime.

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