California Identity Theft Laws

Read about the laws that apply to victims of identity theft in California.

Letter to House of Reps. and Senate to Oppose HR 2622

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the Identity Theft Resource Center urge you to oppose H.R. 2622 as written because it preempts many state consumer protection laws while failing to prevent credit bureau mistakes or stop identity theft.

Protecting Your Social Security Number at Tax Time

Identity thieves want your Social Security number (SSN) so they can assume your identity and commit fraud. Around tax time, protecting your SSN takes on even greater importance. The Information Returns that you receive (Forms W-2 and 1099) as well as your IRS income tax return (Form 1040) will all contain your SSN. Each of these forms, if not handled properly, presents an opportunity for your SSN to be used fraudulently.

Planning a Summer Vacation? Be a Privacy-Smart Traveler

Identity theft is often a crime of opportunity. Don’t be a vacationer who presents a crook with that opportunity. Your personal information, credit and debit cards, driver’s license, passport, and other personal information are the fraudster’s target. A few minutes spent planning before you travel can help reduce the risk that a fraudster will ruin your vacation. Read this alert for tips to help you avoid any nasty surprises.

Identity Theft Precautions for California State Employees

The Teale Data Center for the State of California has reported a security breach in the data base that holds payroll deduction information for all state government employees. According to news reports, officials for the Data Center are quite certain that data was not removed, although they are not entirely certain. One of the data elements in the data base is employee Social Security number (SSN). The incident apparently occurred in April 2002.

A Cautionary Tale about Debit Cards and Fraud: A Former Debit Card User Tells Her Story

My first experience with "Debit Card Fraud" happened in August 1997. I get paid once a month, so I pay all my bills by the 5th of each month. This month, I had done that and paid out approximately $1,400, leaving me with about $400 for the rest of the month. Well, on August 6, 1997, I received approximately nine envelopes from Southwest Airlines, all addressed to me at my current address (I thought this was very weird because I had not had any type of contact or business with Southwest). I opened each envelope and found an itinerary for several individuals (unknown to me). These itineraries indicated these individuals "flew" all over the country (between 7-30-97 and 8-3-97) and I was billed for it. The total airlines tickets were $1,775; and, of course since my paycheck had just been deposited into my account, these itineraries were "paid."

Privacy Groups Urge Federal Reserve Board to Protect Consumers from Identity Theft and Stolen Convenience Checks

As the Board is well aware, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that identity theft claims nearly 10 million victims annually, costing millions to consumers and business alike. Significantly, a high percentage of identity theft complaints involve fraudulent use of open-end (revolving) credit products, particularly credit cards. Unsolicited credit products such as convenience checks and activated cards sent through the mail create opportunities for theft. For this reason, we limit our comments here to questions posed by the Board that have broad implications for victims of identity theft.

Comments Regarding Federal Trade Commission Proposal to Continue to Conduct Surveys of the Public on Identity Theft

The Commission's 2003 survey found approximately 10 million identify theft victims in the prior year. Before the 2003 survey was released, annual victims were estimated at between half to three quarters of a million per year. These earlier estimates, everyone with any knowledge agree, grossly underestimated the scale and impact of this crime. The 2003 survey sounded a wake-up call. Still, we are not convinced that a complete picture of identity theft is known.

Identity Theft: It Can Happen To You, But What's The Point of Reporting It? (Gladstone)

Crooks broke into our joint checking account and robbed us of approximately $1,500 last November. According to officials at the bank where we have our account, the debit card numbers on one of our bank cards was skimmed. What happens, they explained, is that thieves capture your information by attaching an electronic storage device to an automated teller machine (ATM) where your card is swiped.

Consumer Group Analysis of House FCRA Legislation, H.R. 2622

This memo provides a section-by-section analysis of H.R. 2622, which was reported out of the House Financial Services Committee on July 25th. Although the bill takes some steps to prevent identity theft, improve accuracy and protect medical privacy, it fails to offer meaningful solutions to the most important problems that were identified in Senate and House hearings, especially given that the quid pro quo for these measures is permanent and perhaps expanded preemption of state laws.


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