Credit freezeEvery two seconds someone in America has their identity stolen. The U.S Department of Justice reports that identity thieves stole more than $18 billion from 17.6 million U.S. victims last year.

To combat this growing criminal industry that destroys the good names and credit ratings of innocent people, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller launched the “Freeze Identity Thieves” statewide public awareness effort today aimed at arming Hoosiers with a simple, effective ID theft prevention tool: the credit freeze.

Zoeller is urging all Hoosiers to sign up for a credit freeze to guard against fraud this holiday shopping season, when cybercrime is common.

The free credit freeze prevents any new lines of credit from being opened in your name unless you lift the freeze yourself. This effectively stops identity thieves from using any stolen information, for example a Social Security Number, to access and rack up your credit.

The credit freeze is the best protection against fraud and identity theft, and is superior to credit monitoring services that detect rather than prevent fraud.

The credit freeze can be initiated within minutes online with each of the three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax – at the Attorney General’s website

Once a freeze is initiated, you can temporarily lift it at any time if you would like to apply for new credit or a loan.

To check out the “Freeze Identity Thieves” video ad, click here.

For more tips to guard against ID theft, click here.