HILLSIDE, Ill. – State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is highlighting a new law that protects consumers from data breaches and identity theft by making it easier for fraud victims to obtain a credit freeze.

“Some 5 million Illinoisans found their personal information compromised following the massive security breach at Equifax last summer, leaving them vulnerable to potential identify theft,” Welch said. “Consumers shouldn’t have to pay the very company that allowed their data to be hacked in order to take a critical step to protect themselves from further damage.”

Welch sponsored House Bill 4095 which makes it easier for consumers to request a credit freeze by allowing them to submit a request by email and telephone. Currently requests are accepted in writing through certified mail. Welch’s new law also prohibits corporations like Equifax from charging consumers for this service. A credit freeze puts a notice on a consumer’s credit report and effectively prevents anyone from opening new lines of credit in the consumer’s name. A credit freeze is generally recommended as a precautionary measure for anyone who suspects their personal information is compromised.

“Unfortunately, data breaches and security hacks happen every day, most of the time through no fault of the consumer,” said Welch. “We need to keep pursuing policies that put the needs of consumers before the large corporations we trust to keep our information safe.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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