Identity Theft Expert and Speaker on Personal Security Chastises Lobbying Groups’ Attempt to Weaken States’ Credit Freeze Laws

(BOSTON, Mass. – July 20, 2007 – News reports have documented industry lobbyists’ efforts to roll back credit freeze legislation. Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, said no one should disallow consumers from freezing their credit. According to Siciliano, the credit freeze is the best recourse available for any consumer who might be at risk of identity theft.

“Consumers lacked the credit freeze for a long time precisely because of its added cost to provide,” said Siciliano. “And legislators everywhere must continue to push for and defend the credit freeze as an option for consumers, as it’s no wonder that groups shouldering these costs would try to shirk the responsibility.”

CEO of and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients in workshops that explore consumer education solutions for security issues. A longtime identity theft speaker and author of “The Safety Minute: 01,” he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, on NBC’s “Today Show,” FOX News, and elsewhere.

On June 25, USA Today reported in detail efforts by the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), lobbying group for the three major credit bureaus, to reverse more than 35 states’ pro–credit freeze legislation. Brief reports also ran in Identity Theft Daily, ImediNews, and elsewhere, and The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle published an editorial questioning the CDIA’s wisdom and motives. According to the article in USA Today, the CDIA maintains that identity theft is less widespread than report have stated.

“Plenty of research points to the growing prevalence of identity theft,” said Siciliano. “Studies finding otherwise are few and have attracted strong skepticism. But contrarian data has been useful to organizations wishing to downplay the pervasiveness of this crime and the attendant need consumers have to defend themselves with the credit freeze.”

Many studies have pointed to steady, year-over-year increases in identity theft and other credit-related crimes. For instance, research released in March of this year by Gartner found that 15 million Americans fell prey to identity theft–related fraud in 2006. The number was a 50 percent increase over the 9.9 million Americans that the Federal Trade Commission had estimated, in 2003, would be affected by year 2006.

“A perfect storm of variables is driving a boom in identity theft and fraud,” said Siciliano. “Illegal immigration, increasingly sophistication computer hacking, inattention to data security, drug addiction, and more are fueling the rise of identity theft, an easy way for criminals to make money. Often, the consumer’s only shelter is the credit freeze. Industry efforts to disallow the credit freeze only make it another part of that storm.”

Readers may view YouTube video below of Siciliano on the “The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet” discussing the benefits of credit freezes with a child identity theft victim whose father racked up over $3 million in debt under the youth’s name.

To learn more about identity theft, readers may view video of Siciliano at VideoJug.



Identity theft affects us all. Robert Siciliano, CEO of and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients.

A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, “FOX News,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Suze Orman Show,” “The Montel Williams Show,” “Maury Povich,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” “The Howard Stern Show,” and “Inside Edition.” The Privacy Learning Institute features him on its Website. Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft. These include Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others.

Visit Siciliano’s Web site,; blog,; and YouTube page,

The media are encouraged to get in touch with Siciliano directly:

Robert Siciliano, Personal Security Expert
CEO of
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)

The media may also contact:

Brent W. Skinner
President & CEO of STETrevisions
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557