Last year, nearly 20,000 New Yorkers reported experiencing the crippling effects of identity theft and the difficult task of restoring their credit rating. That is why I supported the law to strengthen privacy protection (Ch. 279 of 2008). As your Assembly representative, I am constantly working with my colleagues to fight for laws that protect you and your family. The information in this brochure will help you take every precaution to protect your privacy and finances.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.
Member of Assembly
Don’t carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport unless needed.
Don’t provide personal information to any person or company that initiates contact with you–only to people you contact directly. Pay special attention to e-mails and phone calls you receive–even if the company seems reputable.
If personal information isn’t required to complete a transaction, don’t give it!
Keep your PINs random. Don’t use obvious passwords. Pick up your mail as soon as possible.
Cancel any unused credit cards. Keep only what you need.
Identity Theft Crime Reports.
The Assembly passed a law that entitles victims of identity theft to receive police reports of the crime without paying for them (Ch. 346 of 2007).
Another law the Assembly passed makes it easier to prosecute thieves who use deceiving e-mails, pop-up ads or spam to rob consumers (Ch. 64 of 2006).
Consumers should not live in fear of identity theft. The law, which I supported, will give victims peace of mind in knowing they can find help (Ch. 279 of 2008).
The legislation will:
restrict an employer’s distribution of an employee’s personal information by prohibiting Social Security numbers on ID badges, ID cards, time cards or files with open access; ban the use of “skimmer” devices, which can obtain personal identifying information from credit cards, under circumstances where the intention is to use the device for identity theft; apply confidentiality protections to prevent the intentional distribution of Social Security numbers to the public; enable identity theft victims to get assistance from the Consumer Protection Board’s Identity Theft Prevention and Mitigation Program to help them repair their financial history; enable identity theft victims to obtain from the thief restitution equal to the value of the time they spent fixing the damage caused by the identity theft; and allow consumers to request a freeze on their credit via telephone or secure electronic means, in addition to sending a written request to a credit bureau by certified or overnight mail as provided in the security freeze law of 2006 (Ch. 63 of 2006).
1-800-697-1220. This Web site also has helpful consumer information on:
Home remodeling scams
Home heating oil help
More Consumer Help
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We see this invasive crime now more than ever. With more and more individuals making online purchases and using credit cards to charge gas and groceries, we must be sure to have the proper safeguards in place.
I will always fight to ensure public safety and continue to work for new and better ways to protect Brooklyn residents.
Only give out your Social Security number if you know the information is going to a secure, legitimate and reputable organization
Destroy any unwanted documents that contain personal information—including credit card offers!
Review your consumer credit reports annually for any suspicious activity
New York residents can now order one free credit report every year from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and/or TransUnion. Reports can be ordered online at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228. Also, the Annual Credit Report Request form can be printed at www.ftc.gov and mailed to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Consumers can also request that each of the three major credit reporting agencies “freeze” their credit report (Ch. 63 of 2006). However, a freeze can delay approval of credit applications, and unless the person is a victim of identity theft, there will be a charge to lift the freeze.
New York State’s Consumer Protection Board has protected consumers from unwanted telephone marketing since 2001. It supports the federal Do Not Call Improvement Act of 2007, which adds a layer of protection for individuals by assuring that telephone numbers on the national Do Not Call Registry since its inception will be extended without expiration, unless requested by the consumer.
New Yorkers can always sign up their residential and mobile telephone lines for the Do Not Call Registry or file related complaints online at www.donotcall.gov or by using the tollfree line at 1-888-382-1222.
For Do Not Call or other consumer information, visit the Consumer Protection Board’s Web site at www.nysconsumer.gov or call CPB at 1-800-697-1220.
Opt out. To “opt out” of receiving future “pre-approved” or “pre-screened” solicitations for credit or insurance, call 1-888-5OPTOUT or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.
Working for You.
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Brooklyn, NY 11205 &bul; 718-680-2845
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