State Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager is working on new legislation that would protect consumers against identity theft.
The legislation would allow you to “freeze” your credit reports with national credit reporting agencies. That way, you determine just who gets a copy of your report. You can always "thaw" your credit later.
It would also limit an employer's ability to get your Social Security number and up the penalty of ID theft against the elderly, disabled or minors.
Mail theft would also become a Class I felony under the bill. It could lead to up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
State officials do say there are certain steps you should always take.
You should always secure you personal information. Guard your mail, shred and destroy bills and only carry the information you need
Never carry your Social Security card or number with you and be careful before giving it out.
Opt out of pre-approved credit offers by calling 1-888-5-opt-out.
Be cautions when completing financial transactions on the internet. Never reply to an email or pop-up message that asks for personal information.
Keep track of all your financial accounts. Be aware of when your statements arrive and check them immediately. Contact creditors if statements don't arrive on time.
And, monitor your credit report. You can order a free copy by visiting annualcreditreport.com