Legislation combats ID theft

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 2, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

New legislation introduced by Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama and other representatives could help protect area residents against credit card fraud and identity theft.

“This bill represents a common sense approach that rewards the legitimate expectations of consumers and the financial service industry,” Davis stated in a press release.

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The new bill, The Consumer Data Security and Notification Act of 2005,

expands the Fair Credit Reporting Act, imposes new data security standards and introduces uniform requirements for data brokers and other firms.

According to the press release,

financial institutions and data brokers, like ChoicePoint and LexisNexis, will have tougher standards to follow.

Identity theft is a growing problem in Dallas County, according to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson.

“It started showing up on the docket (recently),” Jackson said. “One problem that I see is people from other countries, allegedly, asking people for their financial information. It’s obviously bogus, but it could cause some problems.”

Jackson said in the past, he felt like he was the target of identity thieves.

“We’ve all been called by people asking for our social security numbers,” Jackson said. “The scam has gotten so good.”

Jackson said the new bill doesn’t increase the criminal statutes against identity theft, but by making private information more secure, the law makes his job easier.

“These financial institutions and other agencies have to keep private information more secure,” Jackson said. “It (the new law) cracks down on that.”

Jackson said his office hopes to be just as proactive with identity theft as Davis is with the new legislation.

“We plan to take a tough stand against identity theft,” Jackson said.