Federal Agencies' Guidelines regarding Notification by Financial Companies when a Security Breach Compromises Customer Data and Exposes Individuals to Identity Theft


The Agencies' current proposal establishes guidance for financial institutions' response programs for unauthorized access to customer information. The proposal also includes guidance on when notice to customers is necessary.

Recent studies have confirmed that the crime of identity theft claims millions of victims each year, costing both victims and financial institutions billions of dollars in losses.3 Financial institutions that collect and maintain personal customer information as part of business operations have a legal obligation to establish security procedures to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of that data.

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

California Identity Theft Laws


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

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.

Potential Identity Theft Scam Related to Terrorist Attacks


The media, law enforcement officials, and consumer organizations have been alerting the public of potential harmful scams, including charity scams, as a result of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The Identity Theft Resource Center and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse also urge media outlets and consumer organizations to alert the public of two potential identity theft-related situations that might arise from the recent World Trade Towers disasters.

Identity Theft: How It Happens, Its Impact on Victims, and Legislative Solutions


I appreciate the ability to provide written and oral testimony on the skyrocketing crime of identity theft, its impact on victims, and possible solutions. And I commend you and the Subcommittee members for addressing this issue. My written testimony is in four parts:

  • Topic number one is the crime itself - what is identity theft, how much of it is going on, and why it is happening in epidemic proportions.

  • Second, I will discuss the many ways in which identity thieves obtain the bits and pieces of information they need to impersonate others -- mainly Social Security numbers (SSN) and credit card account numbers.

  • Third, I will explain some of the impacts on victims.

  • And fourth, I will recommend legislative and industry measures to prevent identity theft and to expedite the ability of victims to regain their financial health.

Identity Theft: The Growing Problem of Wrongful Criminal Records


The victim of criminal identity theft may not know that someone has burdened them with a criminal record until they are stopped for a traffic violation, the officer runs a check on their driver's license number, and they're arrested on the spot. Or perhaps they apply for a job, are turned down, and obtain the results of the background check because the employer is actually complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (something that is not being done across the board, and which I'll talk about in a moment).

Nowhere to Turn: Victims Speak Out on Identity Theft - A Survey of Identity Theft Victims and Recommendations for Reform


Identity theft is a growing crisis in the United States. As the crime becomes more visible, stories of victims' complex experiences permeate the media. Identity theft occurs when someone invades your life, taking pieces of your personal identifying information as his or her own, and ruins your financial reputation. In addition, victims of this crime face extreme difficulties attempting to clear the damaged credit, or even criminal record, caused by the thief.

Preventing Identity Theft: Industry Practices Are the Key


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 consumers can do to actually prevent identity theft. The key to prevention, rather, is for businesses to establish responsible information-handling practices and for the credit industry to adopt stricter application verification procedures, among other strategies (see below).

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