Effective September 21, 2018, Section 301 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”) requires consumer reporting agencies to provide free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts to consumers throughout the country. Under the Act, consumer reporting agencies must each set up a webpage designed to enable consumers to request credit freezes, fraud alerts, extended fraud alerts and active duty fraud alerts. The webpage must also give consumers the ability to opt out of the use of information in a consumer report to send the consumer a solicitation of credit or insurance. Consumers may find links to these webpages on the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft website.
The Act also enables parents and guardians to freeze their children’s credit if they are under age 16. Guardians or conservators of incapacitated persons may also request credit freezes on their behalf.
Section 302 of the Act provides additional protections for active duty military. Under this section, consumer reporting agencies must offer free electronic credit monitoring to all active duty military.
For more information, read the FTC’s blog post.