New Law Could Help Protect Against Identity Theft, Says DiGirolamo

Legislation that will give consumers the right to some of the strongest protections available against identity theft is now law, announced Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks). 

All Pennsylvania residents now have the ability to place a freeze on their credit files maintained by the three national credit bureaus, such as TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.  

Under this new law, known as the “Credit Reporting Agency Law,” consumers can freeze their credit file with a credit bureau by sending a written request to the bureau by certified mail. Freezes must be placed on a consumer’s file no later than five business days after the request is received. However, where permitted by law, courts, law enforcement agencies, government offices and some other entities can still obtain credit information regardless of whether a freeze is in place. 

This new statute allows the credit bureaus to charge up to $10 to initiate a freeze and up to $10 to thaw a credit file when the consumer needs to apply for credit or a loan. Customers 65 years or older or people who are victims of identity theft are exempted from the fee.  

Security freezes will remain in place for seven years, or until the credit bureau receives a request from the consumer to remove the security freeze. 

Contact information for the major credit bureaus is as follows: Equifax, 1-800-685-1111,; Experian, 1-800-290-5195,; and TransUnion, 1-888-909-8872, 

Since businesses typically check credit histories before issuing credit or opening new accounts, a credit freeze will prevent new credit accounts from being opened in the consumer's name until the freeze is removed. This will help prevent others from trying to get credit in their name and protect the consumer from identity theft.  

When a freeze is in place with a credit bureau, any changes in a consumer’s name, date of birth, Social Security number or address must also be confirmed with the consumer by the credit bureau 30 days before the change is posted to their file. 

Additional information on this law, as well as tips on safeguarding personal and financial information, can be found on the attorney general’s Web site at 

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo
18th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(215) 750-1017
(717) 783-7319
Contact:  Jennifer Algoe Keaton
(717) 705-2094
Member site:
Caucus site: