AUSTIN, Texas -The Texas Senate has unanimously approved legislation that would place an alert on stolen credit information and freeze an account for an $8 fee. Senate Bill 473, by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) would address the growing crisis of identity theft in the state. After receiving a request from an account holder, a credit agency would put a security alert on the account holder's file and allow the account holder to include a phone number to verify his or her identity before a transaction. For an $8 fee a freeze can be placed on the account, and it can not be reopened without the authorization of the account holder. An access code and personal identification number is required to reopen the account. Like many areas across the nation identity theft recently hit home when over 55,000 Social Security numbers were stolen from the University of Texas. According to the U.S. Attorney's office none of the information obtained was used fraudulently.

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