Florida officials introduce legislation to help protect seniors from fraud

Florida officials including two Cabinet officers want to whack a $10 fee to freeze your credit report after hacked credit reporting agency Equifax emerged as the state’s most complained-about company in 2017 in beefs to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Indiana, South Carolina, Maine and North Carolina “do not charge this fee and we want to add Florida to that list this year,” said Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s chief financial officer.

Last fall Equifax acknowledged a breach that exposed the personal data of more than 145 million U.S. consumers, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and more.

In recent years the region including West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami has ranked No. 1 or 2 nationally in identify theft complaints per capita.

State officials including Patronis and Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam are supporting bills to end the $10 fee to freeze credit reports. Such freezes can make it more difficult for fraudsters to establish new credit in a victim’s name.



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