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Mon July 2, 2007
New Law Helps Battle Identity Theft
By Kristin Espeland
Laramie, WY – Wyoming has joined the steady march of states to enact credit report freeze laws. The intent is to shield victims of identity theft. As of this Sunday, Wyoming consumers can now request that each of the three major credit bureaus freeze any further access to their credit reports. That would stop thieves from applying for any new credit under their name. But the Public Interest Research Group's consumer programs director, Ed Mierzwinski, warns that state freeze laws vary in consumer-friendliness. Wyoming's new law calls for a 10-dollar fee for each request to freeze a credit report which essentially means 30-dollars in order to place a freeze at each of the three major credit bureaus. And for Wyoming consumers, a freeze must be temporarily lifted within 15 minutes if they are requesting new credit. Mierzwinski says that's more favorable than in other states, where consumers could be forced to wait 24 hours.