Starting January 1, 2008 Maryland consumers will be able to freeze their credit reports as a way to protect themselves from identity theft.
As of Dec. 1, 2007 none of the three major credit bureaus had posted instructions on their websites for how to place the freeze via telephone, website or e-mail. They do, however, provide the instructions for how to place a freeze via certified mail:
Placing a freeze via certified mail:
To request a security freeze you must write to each of the three credit bureaus. Each bureau charges a $5 fee unless you are an ID theft victim.
Write to all three addresses below and include the information that follows:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Trans Union Security Freeze
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
For each, you must:
- Send a letter by certified mail
- If you are a victim of identity theft, you must include a copy of report of alleged identity fraud of an identity theft passport;
- Provide your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.) address, Social Security number, and date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past 5 years, supply all the addresses where you have lived over the prior 5 years.
- Provide proof of current address such as a current utility bill or phone bill.
- Send a photocopy of a government issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.)
- If you are not a victim, provide payment by check, money order or credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover cards only)
For more detailed information, including sample letters, please download the FAQ below.