To the Editor:

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Maine commends the Legislature for its recent override of Governor Paul LePage’s veto of LD 382, which will provide free protection against identity theft for Mainers. The governor vetoed “An Act to Amend the Allowable Security Freeze Fees Charged by a Consumer Reporting Agency,” but the Legislature swiftly counteracted.

Thanks to the veto override, the current fees to place or remove a security freeze on credit reports will be eliminated. Because a security freeze safeguards a person’s credit report, it is one of the most effective ways to protect consumers from identity theft. Without access to this sensitive information, an identity thief is unable to obtain credit in that person’s name, thereby greatly minimizing the potential damage from the attempted identity theft.

On behalf of our 230,000 members in Maine, I applaud the Legislature’s wisdom in supporting this strong legislation to help Mainers safeguard their credit reports. Identity theft can have long-term devastating consequences, and a majority of those individuals targeted in these crimes are older adults. AARP Maine just held its first-ever AARP Fraud Watch Network “Scam Jam” with speakers that included the Attorney General Janet Mills, U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Desrosiers and representatives from the Maine Office of Securities and the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. Considering the turnout of 300-plus Mainers, we know that fraud and scams are of great concern to the 50-plus population.

LD382 positions Maine as a national leader in proactive protection from identity theft as we are the third state in the nation to offer this security freeze at no cost. During an era of unprecedented data breaches, the passage of LD 382 could not come at a better time. AARP commends bill sponsor Senator Rod Whittemore and legislative leaders for their support of this important legislation.

Rich Livingston

AARP Maine President


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