Consumers beware: A new law requiring shoppers to verify their shopping histories and credit card details will cost consumers nearly $40 billion in the next decade.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump earlier this month, aims to help consumers avoid scams and fraud by mandating companies and retailers collect consumer information and store that information in a centralized database.
But it faces legal challenges from a group of consumer groups, consumer advocates, and advocacy groups.
The law requires consumers to sign up for a credit report before they can access a list of their credit card, credit-card balance, and other consumer information.
Consumers can sign up by visiting a credit-reporting agency’s website.
However, the law also allows individuals to request access to the list of information they’ve been asked to provide and has no limits on the number of times they can request access.
The credit-report website Consumer.gov is currently undergoing upgrades, but it has not yet been updated to reflect the new law.
Consumer groups are urging consumers to be wary of anyone who asks for a copy of their information without providing a credit card number.
“I don’t know if that’s going to work, but I do know that you don’t think you can trust the information,” said Lisa Krantz, director of the Consumer Federation of America’s consumer bureau.
The federal law requires that companies collect consumer data on customers for up to six months, though that could change over time.
The law also provides protections for consumers to obtain copies of their data.
The Federal Trade Commission has begun a legal challenge to the law.
The FTC says the law creates “an unwarranted burden on consumers to verify information on their credit reports.”
It also says the Federal Trade Commissions data collection authority is too broad.
“What the law is really trying to do is create a national database,” said Catherine Rampell, deputy general counsel for the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“The idea is that you can just log into the system, you don`t need to ask anybody to do anything.”
“The law will allow people to store their credit information, but the consumer will not know what that information is about,” said Krantl.
“This will be used to monitor who is shopping and who is not shopping and then have them know how they can be better at preventing fraud and fraud prevention.”
Consumer advocates say that while the law may not be able to eliminate fraud altogether, it will help consumers better protect their personal information.
“It will create a consumer database and then people will have more information to protect,” said Rachel Krieger, president and CEO of the Consumers Union, a consumer advocacy group.
“We’re confident that this is going to create a better shopping experience for consumers.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency charged with enforcing the Fair Credit Report Act, said in a statement that it will monitor the law and ensure it remains effective.
The agency is also urging states to consider adopting their own laws requiring consumers to create and submit a credit profile to the credit-monitoring website, Credit Karma.