Making Sure You are You: Protection for your ID and Personal Info


Your good name and good credit are becoming increasingly important.  In today’s world employers, insurance companies, and others can and will check your credit report when making decisions that can affect you and your life.  We all know mistakes happen and crooks abound so it is vital that we perform periodic checks of our credit records. 

Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act no more than five digits of your credit or debit card number can appear on your receipt.  Plus the card expiration date must be deleted.  This “truncate and delete” rule is designed to protect the consumer who uses the card for a transaction with a business.  Note the “truncate and delete” rule does not apply to receipts for which the sole means of recording a credit or debt card number is by handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the card.

It is FACTA that gave consumers the right to receive one free credit report in a 12-month period from each of the major credit reporting agencies.  You can request your free report via mail, telephone, or online via the Internet.  NOTE:  If you decide to orderSecure information your report online note the ONLY website that allows the free report pursuant to FACTA is www.annualcreditreport.com

The North Carolina Identity Theft Protection Act has several provisions designed to prevent the malicious or improper use of your personal information.  The Act applies to companies doing business in North Carolina.  A few highlights of the Act:

  • A business cannot require you to provide your social security number (SSN) over the Internet unless the Internet connection is secure
  • A business must provide password protection if your SSN is required to access an Internet website
  • A business cannot print your SSN on materials to be mailed to you
  • As a consumer you have the right to place a security freeze on your credit report (but note the freeze could delay decisions on”..any subsequent request or application you make regarding new loans, credit, mortgage, insurance, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transactions, or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale.”  N.C.G.S. 75-63(p). 
  • Businesses and individuals are prohibited from publishing or sharing personal information (SSN, driver’s license number, credit and debit card numbers, etc.) “..with actual knowledge that the person whose personal information is disclosed has previously objected to any such disclosure.”  N.C.G.S. 75-66(a).

Further note, as is the case with most laws, there are some exceptions to the above provisions.  Damages and attorneys’ fees may be recovered for certain violations of FACTA and the NC Identity Theft Protection Act.  These laws have several other provisions which may protect you not to mention there may be other laws relevant to your situation.

Make sure you are you—-when it comes to your credit and personal information.  If you believe someone has stolen or misused your personal information you should contact a consumer law attorney for a consultation.

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