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Anti-Identity Theft Freeze Gaining Momentum

Contributed by mm | August 4, 2004 2:57 PM PST

CNN discussed a less-known channel to combat identity theft: security freeze. Residents of California and Texas can ask credit reporting agencies (CRAs) to block access to their credit reports until they contact the CRAs to unlock the files using a personal PIN. According to CNN, only 2,000 Californians and 150 Texans have signed up for this option. CNN attributed it as a result of lack of promotion from the CRAs' end.

Also according to the report, the freeze/unfreeze action will cost consumer $8-$12 per CRA. To be clear, this price level is prohibitive to me; if I need to apply for credit twice a year, it will cost $10 * 2 * 2 * 3 = $120 a year ($10 per action, two actions freeze/unfreeze per credit check, two credit checks per year and three CRAs), or much more than enough to get some commercial credit protection programs (which themselves are costly in the first place). Until the cost can be reduced to $1 or $2 per action, and the process can be streamlined, I don't think many people will try this new service.

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