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.

Criminal Identity Theft in California: Seeking Solutions to the "Worst Case Scenario"


Criminal identity theft occurs when an imposter gives another person’s name and personal information, such as a Social Security number, driver’s license number, and date of birth, to a law enforcement officer upon arrest or during an investigation. Or the imposter may give to law enforcement a counterfeit driver’s license or identification card containing another person’s information.  Read Beth Given's presentation at the Identity Theft Summit in 2005.

Comments to the California Department of Insurance Proposed Regulations ER05043832: Property Loss Databases


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) is please to write in support of the Department’s continuing efforts to protect California consumers from adverse insurance decisions based on error ridden claims history reports. A steady stream of consumer complaints filed with the Department as well as the PRC’s experience with consumer concerns make further action by the Department both justified and necessary.

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.

Groups Ask the FTC to Immediately Stop Credit Bureaus From Blocking Web Links to www.AnnualCreditReport.com


The World Privacy Forum and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today requesting the agency immediately take steps to protect consumers in advance of the March 1 rollout of free credit reports to Midwestern U.S. residents.

Consumers in Midwest States Can Get Free Credit Reports Starting March 1, 2005


A new federal law, known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACTA, adopted by Congress in 2003 gives consumers nationwide the right to receive a free copy of their credit report. The law is being phased in through the U.S. and Midwest states are next on the rollout list. The ability for consumers to get a free copy of their credit report annually started on the West Coast on December 1, 2004, and individuals living in the Midwest can start receiving their reports on March 1, 2005.

World Privacy Forum and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Ask the FTC to Immediately Stop Credit Bureaus From Blocking Web Links to www.AnnualCreditReport.com


UPDATE: As of noon, February 28, the credit bureaus began to allow linking to the annualcreditreport.com site from other sites. To see what the previous non-linking "blacklisted" message looked like prior to the credit bureaus' change in policy, see  Figure 2 in the Call Don't Click report.

SAN DIEGO, CA -- The World Privacy Forum and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today requesting the agency immediately take steps to protect consumers in advance of the March 1 rollout of free credit reports to Midwestern U.S. residents.

Groups Ask FTC to Stop Blocking Links to Free Credit Report Site, www.annualcreditreport.com


While a number of issues regarding www.annualcreditreport.com need to be corrected, one issue stands out as critically important to correct immediately. That is, the active blocking of Web linking to the annualcreditreport.com site is harming consumers right now, and does not serve any apparent purpose other than to direct consumers to for-pay services at the credit bureaus.

Call Don't Click: Why It Is Smarter to Order a Federally Mandated Credit Report Via the Phone Instead of the Internet


new report issued today by Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum (www.worldprivacyforum.org) in advance of the March 1 rollout of free credit reports to Midwest residents, shows that consumers may be better off calling or mailing for their federally mandated free credit report instead of going online for it.

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