Identity theft
Identity fraud is defined as the unauthorized use of another person’s personal information for illicit financial gain. Identity theft is our country's fastest growing crime, increasing about 14% each year. In order to assume another person’s identity, criminals need only a name, employer, mother’s maiden name, social security number or credit card number. This information is sometimes obtained from merchants, discarded personal papers or by phony telemarketers. Increasingly, it is the vast amount of personal information people place on social networking websites that is frequently used to authenticate a person’s identity. Security advocates say these networks are a great resource for fraudsters. Surveys have also shown that smartphone users have a one-third higher chance of their identities being stolen than those who don’t own these phones. This is because most people don’t use passwords on their home screen and some also store their login information on their devices. This information is then available to anyone who acquires or hacks a victim’s phone. The good news is that out of nearly 17 million identity theft victims, 80% endured no out-of pocket expenses due to the zero-liability policies of most financial institutions. Only about 7% of all identity theft victims incurred a personal financial loss greater than $100. The incidence of identity thieves stealing tax refunds has also greatly increased. Each year, millions of hard-working Americans who file their tax returns in the hope of paying bills, creating savings, or taking a vacation instead discover that it has already been filed and the refund claimed. During the last two years, more than $9 billion has been stolen from millions of American taxpayers and our Treasury. In addition, the IRS has failed to provide timely help for victims who had had their tax refunds stolen. Victims complain that they need to talk to multiple departments and many wait more than six months to have their check reissued.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.1110 - STOP Identity Theft Act of 2015

Issue Suggestions

Suggest an important issue not listed in this sub-category (). (Maximum 60 Characters)

Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

Democracy Rules respects the privacy of your information.