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PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler/Janice Fitzsimons
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: August 25, 2005
FREE CREDIT REPORTS AVAILABLE TO DELAWARE CONSUMERS BEGINNING
SEPTEMBER 1, 2005
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General M. Jane Brady and State Bank Commissioner, Robert A. Glen announce that, beginning September 1, 2005, Delaware consumers are entitled to request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.
Under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), all Delawareans may request a "credit file disclosure", commonly know as a credit report, from each of the three credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - through a centralized service created by the credit reporting agencies called Annual Credit Report Request Service. Credit reports through this Service are free to the consumer.
With the crime of identity theft on the rise, Attorney General Brady said, "We have encouraged people to check their credit report annually to protect themselves against identity theft. It will certainly help consumers keep informed now that these reports are truly free." Attorney General Brady cautioned consumers that while several credit reporting services exist, that the Annual Credit Report Request Service is the only one which provides free reports.
Brady also urged consumers who uncover suspected identity theft on their credit reports to utilize the Identity Theft Victim Kit which is available on the Attorney General's website (attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/). The Kit outlines the steps victims should take to notify law enforcement, credit bureaus, lending institutions and businesses as well as the documentation they should gather to dispute fraudulent activity.
Consumers may request their reports on-line or through a toll-free telephone number:
1) After September 1st, consumers can log onto www.annualcreditreport.com to request, view and print a free copy of their credit report.
2) Consumers may call 1-877-322-8228 to request a credit report by telephone. Reports will be mailed to consumers making a request by telephone.
Consumers who have questions or experience problems with accessing their credit report can contact the State Bank Commissioner's office at (302) 739-4235 or the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at 800-220-5424. A link to the credit report site is provided on the Attorney General's website at attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/ under the "Helpful Information" section.
Delaware State Bank Commissioner, Robert A. Glen encouraged citizens to attend one of the upcoming meetings sponsored by his office to learn more about protecting themselves from scams, identity theft, and learning about the free credit reports:
September 15th Bear Library, 7 P.M.
September 27th Kent County Library, 6:30 P.M.
September 29th New Castle Library, 7 P.M.
October 3rd Woodlawn Library 11:30 A.M.
October 5th Woodlawn Library, 6:30 P.M.
October 11th Elsmere Library 7 P.M.
October 22nd North Wilmington Library 11 A.M.
October 24th Delaware City Library 6:30 P.M.
October 25th North Wilmington Library 7 P.M.
October 26th Neighborhood House, Wilmington 6:30 P.M.
To register for the meetings please go to the Delaware Money School web site:
www.delawaremoneyschool.com or call 792-1200.
The Bank Commissioner's Office also has a new brochure "Identity Theft Hurts" which is a great resource covering ways to minimize the risk of identity theft as well as well as what to do if you are a victim. Information about the free credit reports is included as well and the steps you should take if you find an error on your report.
For copies of the brochure or to schedule a meeting in your community, please call 577-6722 (New Castle) or 302-739-4235 (Kent and Sussex).