Washington state seeks ban on consumer credit freeze fees

AP

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) Washington state lawmakers are pushing forward with measures that would prevent credit reporting agencies from charging consumers who request freezing their reports to prevent identity theft.

The News Tribune reported that legislators in the House and Senate have passed identical bills that would eliminate the $10 fee agencies are allowed to charge for placing and lifting a security freeze on their account and study the impact on the industry. More than 70 data breaches affected state residents in 2017, according to the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, compromising personal information such as social security numbers and other data.

Opponents to the legislation argued consumers should use fraud alerts, which are already provided for free by the agencies, in cases of suspected data breaches, according to public testimony in the Senate before its bill was passed almost unanimously in January.

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