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.

Privacy Advocates Call for Tough Regulation of Financial Data and Stronger Identity Theft Protections


The recent security breaches of sensitive customer information held by ChoicePoint and Bank of America have underscored how vulnerable consumers are to threats of identity theft and the need for stronger protections to reduce such fraud. Watchdog groups are calling for new laws that provide proper oversight of businesses that collect and sell sensitive consumer information and tougher safeguards to give consumers the tools they need to stop identity theft before it starts.

PRC Portrayed in Lifetime Movie: Identity Theft - The Michelle Brown Story


A few years ago a Southern California woman named Michelle Brown contacted the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse seeking help regarding an especially difficult identity theft situation. The thief obtained information provided by Michelle on a housing application and procured over $50,000 in goods and services including a lease for an apartment, a $32,000 truck, and liposuction. The thief also obtained a state- issued ID using Michelle's name and later engaged in drug smuggling for which she was arrested as Michelle.

The Saga of Shredding in the U.S.: A Privacy Advocate's Perspective


Even though since those "early years" in our identity theft work shredding has become a household word and shredders are a common household item, trash is still a lucrative source of Social Security numbers and other useful bits of personal information for those who perpetrate identity theft.

Prevent Identity Theft with Responsible Information-Handling Practices in the Workplace


Experts in identity theft report that an increasing number of cases can be traced back to dishonest employees in the workplace who obtain the sensitive personal information of employees and customers and disclose it to identity thieves. One of the keys to preventing identity theft, therefore, is to safeguard personal information within the workplace, whether it's a business, government agency, or nonprofit. Targets for identity thieves include SSNs, driver's license numbers, financial account numbers, PINs, passcodes, and dates of birth.

Prevent Identity Theft with Responsible Information-Handling Practices in the Workplace


Discussions on preventing identity theft often focus on steps consumers can take, such as shredding their trash and restricting access to their Social Security number (SSN). But realistically, while such measures can reduce the odds of becoming a victim, there is little individuals can do to actually prevent identity theft. The keys to prevention are two-fold, involving the credit industry and the workplace:

Identity Theft Surveys and Studies: How Many Identity Theft Victims Are There? What Is the Impact on Victims?


Recent Surveys and Studies from Javelin Strategy & Research, Better Business Bureau, Identity Theft Resource Center, Federal Trade Commission, Gartner, and Privacy & American Business

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.

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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