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U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Combat ID Theft


November 19, 2007
Monday AM

The United States Senate has approved the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act (S. 2168), a measure co-sponsored by Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). The legislation implements recommendations from the President's Identity Theft Task Force, and is crafted to provide the law enforcement community with improved tools and increased penalties to better combat identity theft and other cyber crime.

"Millions of Americans and thousands of Alaskans fall victim to identity theft every year. It can take months or even years to restore their financial health," said Senator Stevens. "It is important that Congress give law enforcement the necessary tools to combat identity theft, and S. 2168 is a critical step forward in the fight against this growing epidemic."

Alaska ranked fifth per capita in the number of identity fraud complaints filed last year. Nationwide, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that each year more than eight million Americans ­ or roughly 4.6 percent of the domestic adult population ­ are victims of identity theft.

The FTC indicates that physical and online identity theft accounted for 40 percent of the more than 616,000 consumer fraud complaints filed last year with the agency. In 2006, it is estimated that the losses to businesses and financial institutions due to identity theft totaled $52.6 billion, and the out-of-pocket losses to consumers totaled $5 billion. These figures do not include the average 300 hours spent by each identity theft victim to restore their financial health.

S. 2168 would supplement the Identity Theft Prevention Act (S. 1178) sponsored Senator Stevens and Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). The Senate Commerce Committee approved this legislation earlier this year. It is designed to strengthen information safeguards and ensure notification to consumers whose sensitive personal information has been acquired without authorization.


Source of News:

Office of Sen. Ted Stevens


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Ketchikan, Alaska