WASHINGTON (6/24/15)--U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called upon Equifax, Experian and Transunion to voluntarily notify consumers whenever their credit records are requested.
His plan would direct the three national credit reporting agencies to implement a “credit inquiry” alert that would immediately notify consumers when access to their credit is requested. This would alert them to when someone tries to open a new line of credit or a new account in their name, using their personal information, he said.
He called on the agencies Monday to “set up a simple, easily accessible notification system” to alert consumers about credit inquiries.
“Despite widespread hacking and identity theft across the country, consumers are not notified when access to their credit is requested to create a new account. Instead, consumers are often in the dark until their credit is drained or their score has tanked,” Schumer said in a press release. He noted that hackers drain credit and impact credit scores in two ways: by opening a line of credit in one’s name or setting up an entirely new account, unknown to the consumer.
He made the request in a letter to Brian Cassin, CEO of Experian; Rick Smith, chair/CEO of Equifax; and James M. Peck, CEO of Transunion.
Schumer was an early supporter of cybersecurity legislation during hearings last December of the Senate Banking Committee. CUNA stepped up its advocacy efforts to protect credit unions and other financial institutions as well as consumers’ data, from breaches that often yield information used in the credit scams.