Identity Theft Expert and Speaker on Personal Security Says the Credit Freeze Is a Basic Consumer Right

(BOSTON, Mass. – Sept. 28, 2007 – IDTheftSecurity.com) Last week reports indicated that two of the three major credit bureaus had resolved to allow credit freezes, a major weapon consumers need to combat identity theft and credit card fraud. According to Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, the tool is a basic right that others also ought to allow in light of data breaches that have continued to expose millions of consumers’ personal data to possible theft.

“The credit freeze is a basic consumer right,” said Siciliano. “The delay in its availability to consumers has been a major source of consternation to those in the security industry, who help clients deal with the aftermath of identity theft. Yes, the credit freeze costs money to offer, but anyone with a credit history deserves the ability to freeze her records prior to, and in the event of, suspected fraud. Evidently, smart organizations are beginning to understand.”

CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com 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 Sept. 21, USA Today reported that major credit bureau TransUnion had reached a decision to allow consumers in all 50 states to apply freezes to their credit. According to the article, consumers would be able to begin exercising the important identity theft and fraud-preventing option by Oct. 15 of this year. The next day, Sept. 22, ConsumerAffairs.com reported that Equifax had decided to do the same and planned to offer the freeze in October, as well.

“Without a doubt,” said Siciliano, “those possibly affected by recent, large-scale data breaches will breathe a sigh of relief that the credit freeze is now an option.”

Just a week earlier, an article in the Sept. 14th edition of Wall Street & Technology reported on a data breach at TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. According to reports, which also ran elsewhere, the lost information included names, physical addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers for more than 6.3 million customers. The Wall Street & Technology article stated that the affected company turned to ID Analytics for help.

“With numbers like this consistently making it into the news,” said Siciliano, “it’s likely that just about everyone in the country already needs the credit freeze. The sooner all credit bureaus offer it, the better off all consumers will be. Legislators and those in industry must work together to protect the consumers and citizens alike.”

Readers may view YouTube video below of Siciliano on “FOX News,” explaining how the ubiquity of Social Security numbers as universal identifiers helps thieves who obtain information following data breaches. Those wishing to learn how to further protect themselves against identity theft, may view video of Siciliano at VideoJug.

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About IDTheftSecurity.com

Identity theft affects us all. Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com 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 “The Today Show,” CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, “FOX News,” “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 Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, 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, www.IDTheftSecurity.com; blog, www.realtysecurity.com/blog; and YouTube page, http://youtube.com/stungundotcom.

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

Robert Siciliano, Personal Security Expert
CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)
Robert@IDTheftSecurity.com
www.idtheftsecurity.com

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

(BOSTON, Mass. – July 20, 2007 – IDTheftSecurity.com) 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 IDTheftSecurity.com 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.

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About IDTheftSecurity.com

Identity theft affects us all. Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com 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, www.IDTheftSecurity.com; blog, www.realtysecurity.com/blog; and YouTube page, http://youtube.com/stungundotcom.

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

Robert Siciliano, Personal Security Expert
CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)
Robert@IDTheftSecurity.com
www.idtheftsecurity.com

The media may also contact:

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

Identity Theft: Expert Lauds Massachusetts’ New Credit Freeze Law—Identity Theft Expert and Speaker on Personal Security

(BOSTON, Mass. – May 18, 2007 – IDTheftSecurity.com) Last week, both houses of the Massachusetts legislature passed versions of a bill that grants residents of the state the right to freeze access to their credit reports. Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, said consumers’ access to the credit freeze is an indispensable component of any identity theft–fighting strategy.

“The credit freeze is a basic right essential to consumers in this age of rampant identity theft,” said Siciliano. “Consumers are often the first to realize that someone is using their financial information without permission. The credit freeze is a weapon that empowers consumers to stop these identity thieves’ and credit card fraudsters’ illegal activities quickly and easily.”

CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com 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 May 10, the Massachusetts Senate passed a version of a credit freeze bill that the state’s House of Representatives had passed a day earlier, giving consumers the right to the credit freeze. The bill also required entities operating from that point forward in Massachusetts to disclose breaches of security that result in the purloining of sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and credit card information.

“Here we have a state finally putting two key pieces of the identity theft–fighting puzzle in place,” said Siciliano. “But ‘finally’ is the operative word. The pace of progress has been slow for state and federal legislation alike. The entire nation has needed credit freeze access and compulsory breach disclosure laws for a long time.”

Playing a key role in the reporting of a highly publicized security breach at ChoicePoint, Inc. in early 2005, California’s SB 1386 has for a number of years obligated organizations conducting business in that state to make similar, prompt disclosures of data breaches. And a majority of the nation’s states have preceded Massachusetts in making the credit freeze available to their residents.

Despite their utility as empowering weapons against identity thieves, various sources have indicated that the popularity of credit freezes among consumers has lagged. According to the Consumer Data Industry Data Association, “only about 50,000 people have requested freezes,” reported the Boston Globe on May 12.

“Lack of popularity is no reason to disallow the credit freeze,” said Siciliano. “If anything, consumers may be unaware of this tool’s availability. Consumer education must become a paramount initiative, and the onus of responsibility for this must fall upon the credit reporting agencies.”

Recently, Siciliano appeared on CNBC to discuss credit and debit card scams.

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About IDTheftSecurity.com
Identity theft affects us all. Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com 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, www.IDTheftSecurity.com; blog, www.realtysecurity.com/blog; and YouTube page, http://youtube.com/stungundotcom.

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

Robert Siciliano
Personal Security Expert
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)
Robert@IDTheftSecurity.com
www.idtheftsecurity.com

The media may also contact:

Brent W. Skinner, President
STETrevisions
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557
BrentSkinner@STETrevisions.biz
www.STETrevisions.biz