Welch’s Law Aimed to Help Consumers Freeze their Credit and Prevent Identify Theft

Welch’s Law Aimed to Help Consumers Freeze their Credit and Prevent Identify Theft

Welch’s Law Aimed to Help Consumers Freeze their Credit and Prevent Identify Theft

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is highlighting a new law that protects consumers from data breaches and identity theft by making it easier for fraud victims to obtain a credit freeze.

“Some 5 million Illinoisans found their personal information compromised following the massive security breach at Equifax last summer, leaving them vulnerable to potential identify theft,” Welch said. “Consumers shouldn’t have to pay the very company that allowed their data to be hacked in order to take a critical step to protect themselves from further damage.”

State Rep. Chris Welch

State Rep. Chris Welch

Welch sponsored House Bill 4095 which makes it easier for consumers to request a credit freeze by allowing them to submit a request by email and telephone. Currently requests are accepted in writing through certified mail. Welch’s new law also prohibits corporations like Equifax from charging consumers for this service. A credit freeze puts a notice on a consumer’s credit report and effectively prevents anyone from opening new lines of credit in the consumer’s name. A credit freeze is generally recommended as a precautionary measure for anyone who suspects their personal information is compromised.

“Unfortunately, data breaches and security hacks happen every day, most of the time through no fault of the consumer,” said Welch. “We need to keep pursuing policies that put the needs of consumers before the large corporations we trust to keep our information safe.”

For more information, please visit Rep. Welch’s new website www.emanuelchriswelch.com to stay informed and up to date with monthly events.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

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His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.

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