North Carolina lawmakers have advanced a bill that would require
companies to take preventative measures to combat identity theft when handling
customers’ personal information.
Senators voted Aug. 23 to agree to changes made to the bill by the
House. It now heads to Gov. Mike Easley for his signature.
The bill would restrict the sale and display of Social Security
numbers, and mandate companies to properly destroy information when they throw
it away, The Dispatch in
Lexington, NC, reported.
Sponsored by Sen. Daniel Clodfelter, D-Charlotte, the measure also
would give consumers the right to place a security “freeze” on their credit
reports to help prevent the unwanted opening of an account or the obtaining of
credit in a person’s name.
The final version of the bill – SB1048 – includes an exemption for Internet
account numbers, e-mail addresses and names, and driver’s license numbers on
law enforcement records from being considered personal information.
To help prevent identity theft, authorities
warn consumers should look out for their own interests by reading their credit
card statements, reviewing their credit report once a year, and destroying
unwanted credit card offers.
If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you are encouraged
to file a police report and a complaint with the state attorney general’s