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SAN DIEGO – Effective December 1, consumers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colaorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming will be entitled to one free copy of their credit report annually from each of the nationwide credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Consumers elsewhere in the nation will get the same right over the next year as the law is phased in across the country. By requiring credit reporting bureaus to provide free credit reports annually upon request, the new law enables consumers to more readily monitor if they are victims of identity theft or if their credit reports contain errors. To help consumers take advantage of this new right, the Identity Theft Resource Center, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Consumers Union, and CALPIRG have posted information on their Web sites about how to review credit reports and what to do if errors or evidence of identity theft is found. The groups urge consumers to obtain copies of their credit reports as an early warning for identity theft and to avoid having to pay more for credit as a result of potential errors contained in credit reports. Consumers will be able to request their free credit reports through a Web site, toll-free telephone line, or by mail and will have the option of making a single request to get copies of their report from all three major credit bureaus. The credit bureaus are expected to announce the Web site address, telephone number, and mailing address for ordering credit reports on December 1. This contact information will also be available online along with tips for consumers at: www.privacyrights.org, www.consumersunion.org, www.idtheftcenter.org, and www.calpirg.org.

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