CHICAGO — TransUnion announced that, effective Oct. 15, 2007, it will offer the credit reporting industry's first complete file freeze solution. While consumer access to placing a file freeze continues to be driven at the state level, some state-enacted laws are not yet effective and other states have not enacted such laws. TransUnion is committed to providing U.S. consumers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with the ability to freeze their credit files, should they feel that step is warranted.
"TransUnion understands that many consumers are concerned about identity theft and want access to tools that provide them with a personal level of comfort," said Mark Marinko, TransUnion president of Consumer Services. "While fraud alerts continue to be an effective and practical solution for most consumers, we're pleased to be in a position to empower all consumers with the extra measure of security and peace of mind that a file freeze can deliver under the right circumstances."
In states where there is an existing file freeze law, TransUnion will continue to meet or exceed the requirements of those laws. In states where a law has been enacted, but is not yet effective, or where no law has been enacted, TransUnion will provide file freezes as follows:
-- Free to add, lift or remove for all ID theft victims
-- $10 to add, lift or remove for non victims
The most widely used tool against fraud continues to be the fraud alert, which advises lenders to take special precautions prior to extending credit. A fraud alert can be conveniently placed or renewed by a consumer at all three nationwide credit reporting companies by placing a single phone call. A file freeze restricts lenders from accessing a consumer's credit, preventing, among other things, the opening of new accounts. "As a result of our actions, all U.S. consumers will have the power to choose the form of ID theft or fraud protection they feel is best for their individual circumstances," added Marinko. "While this wasn't something currently required of us by law, we had the ability to make it happen now and firmly believe it was the right thing to do for consumers." For more information about file freeze, consumers can visit the TransUnion Website at http://www.transunion.com/ and click on "Information about Identity Theft" at the bottom of the page.