#FreeFromAll3: Protect Consumers with Free Credit Freeze

In light of the recently announced Equifax data breach, the Identity Theft Resource Center has launched the #FreeFromAll3 Campaign. The #FreeFromAll3 Campaign aims to persuade the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, to waive fees for an initial credit freeze and one thaw and refreeze per year for all Americans.

The campaign comes in the wake of the Equifax data breach, which exposed the Social Security numbers of 143 million Americans, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. The ITRC has seen historically unprecedented traffic to its victim assistance call center since the Equifax data breach became widespread public knowledge on September 7, 2017. The organization feels the #FreeFromAll3 Campaign is one way of putting some measure of control back into the hands of consumers. A Change.org petition has been created to gather support for the #FreeFromAll3 Campaign and outlines the position of ITRC and allows consumers to voice their support directly to the CEOs of the three major credit reporting agencies. 

We understand that this may be a confusing time and that people need information about their options and how their choices may affect them. This is why we have gathered the below information to educate consumers and businesses.

 

A credit freeze prevents access to your credit report without your consent, except for companies you already do business with. For more information about credit freezes and fraud alerts check out our Fact Sheet on Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes.

Credit freezes can help minimize attempts for fraudulent use of your Social Security Number (SSN) in gaining access to new lines of credit (which can lead to financial identity theft). However, credit freezes are not right for everyone. Consumers who are thinking about getting a credit freeze should consider the following to know if it is right for them.

Are you planning on applying for credit in the near future? You will have to unfreeze your credit with the three major credit reporting agencies in order for a company to check your credit report.

Are you going to be moving soon? Often times landlords or housing developments will need to check your credit reports in order to approve you for housing. Again, this is a time when you would need to unfreeze your credit.

Are you applying for a new job which will require a background or credit check? This is another consideration which would require you to unfreeze your credit report.

Do you want to be able to apply for credit on-the-spot? You will most likely not be able to do this with a credit freeze in place. This is a decision that consumers need to make as they balance their security with their desire for convenience. 

If you have more questions about credit freezes or any other identity theft protection tools, please call and speak with a Victim Advisor for free at 888.400.5530.

When a consumer has a credit freeze, it impacts how a business is able to work with them to provide credit services. Businesses should be aware that more consumers will likely have a credit freeze in place following the Equifax data breach. We encourage businesses to work with consumers who have taken an important step in protecting their identity. Not only is this important for the consumers with whom you do business, but it helps your business to ensure that credit is not taken out fraudulently and affect your bottom line.

 

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