A message from Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and group CEO of Verizon Consumer Group

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Today, we thank the FCC for its action to help combat fraud and identity theft by approving our request for a temporary lock on all new phones. This is a win for consumers and small businesses and a strong message to identity thieves, fraudsters, and criminals who are looking to steal phones and customer information.

You might recall we made the request to the FCC back in February for a limited waiver from the “C-block rules” put in place in 2007, so that phones can be kept locked for a limited period of time, after they’re purchased, limiting the incentive for identity theft.  Today, the FCC granted that request.

Verizon plans to implement a short, 60 day fraud safety check period, which will go into effect very soon. After the 60 day period the phones will unlock automatically. That means, fraudsters who order and steal phones — clearly with no intention of ever paying for them will have a much harder time.

Even with these safeguards in place, Verizon will still have the most consumer-friendly unlocking policy in the industry and we see very little impact on our legitimate customers’ ability to use their devices.

This is a step in the right direction to protect our customers. That’s something we will always fight for.

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