With recent data leaks jeopardizing the financial information of millions of Washingtonians, state Rep. Mike Pellicciotti, D-Federal Way, will introduce new legislation next session to provide assistance and protection to consumers.
Pellicciotti’s legislation allows consumers who received notice of a security breach to freeze their credit with consumer reporting agencies for no cost.
“It’s ridiculous that companies can put the public’s credit at risk and then charge those fraud victims that try to secure their credit,” Pellicciotti said in a media release. “My proposed bill is a commonsense consumer protection that will allow more people to protect their private information.”
Current law allows victims of identity theft and seniors to freeze credit for free, but, in Washington, fraud victims must first submit a formal police report to get this protection. This requirement drains law enforcement resources and is a burden for fraud victims, according to the release.
Pellicciotti’s bill would allow fraud victims to freeze and unfreeze credit for free by simply certifying that a breach occurred, without having to contact law enforcement for a formal police report. Freezing credit prohibits consumer reporting agencies from releasing a credit report or other information and can protect consumers from identity theft.