Welch Pushes for Free Credit Freezes Following Equifax Breach
- To protect Illinois consumers impacted by the Equifax data breach, state Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Hillside, is sponsoring legislation that would prevent credit agencies from charging consumers to freeze their credit.
"People who have had their personal information compromised should not be forced to pay for the mistakes of one of the country's largest corporate credit reporting agencies," Welch said. "Equifax promised to keep their customer's credit information safe from cybercrimes. My legislation protects people from paying unfair costs from being pushed onto them."
Equifax recently announced it had suffered a massive data breach of sensitive consumer information from May to July of this year, impacting as many as 143 million Americans. In Illinois, the breach is believed to have compromised 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 Madigan is encouraging residents to consider placing a freeze on their credit and to sign up for free credit reports. Welch is sponsoring House Bill 4095, which would prevent credit agencies like Equifax from charging consumers with a fee to freeze their credit.
"I encourage people to visit Equifax's website to see if their personal information has been hacked," Welch said. "Equifax is also offering people a one year cost-free credit monitoring service as a result of this breach. I am fighting to pass this legislation as soon as possible to help everyone affected by this cyber-attack."