Computer Crime Research Center


ID theft law

Date: November 03, 2006

Three new state laws go into effect today to protect New Yorkers from identity theft, which claims millions of Americans as victims each year.

The Security Freeze Law allows consumers to block access to their credit reports.

The Disposal of Personal Records Law requires businesses to shred, destroy or modify personal records no longer in use to ensure that no one could gain access to them.

And the Anti-Phishing Act of 2006 bans the deceptive solicitation of personal information through electronic communication such as e-mail. Phishing is the act of stealing personal information by luring Internet users to a fake Web site - a mock Citibank site, for instance - and stealing passwords, Social Security numbers or other personal information.

State Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick), who wrote the security freeze law and was once a victim of identity theft, said the law will provide better protection than a fraud alert, which is currently available and mainly used by identity theft victims.

When consumers have fraud alerts on their accounts, credit agencies are supposed to contact the consumers before releasing the information, but they don't always do so, Fuschillo said.

"I just felt it was a false sense of security," he said.
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