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Walsh backs effort to cut fee on credit protection method

9/27/2017, 4:06 p.m.
In an effort to assist the 5.4 million Illinois residents who have been affected by the Equifax data breach, state ...

In an effort to assist the 5.4 million Illinois residents who have been affected by the Equifax data breach, state Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr., Elwood, is sponsoring legislation to prevent credit agencies from charging consumers more for taking steps to protect their credit.

Equifax—a corporation that makes money collecting consumers’ personal financial information—recently announced it had suffered a massive data breach jeopardizing sensitive consumer information of up to 143 million Americans. In Illinois, the breach is believed to have jeopardized the personal and financial information of more than 5.4 million residents.

To reduce the potential for identity theft resulting from the data breach, Attorney General Lisa Madigan is encouraging residents to consider placing a freeze on their credit, but many companies charge for this service. Walsh is sponsoring House Bill 4095, which would prevent credit agencies like Equifax from charging consumers with a fee to freeze their credit.

Walsh is also encouraging residents to request their free credit reports and visit the Illinois Attorney General’s office website at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/hotline.html for information and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim to identity theft. Consumers can also call the Attorney General Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630.