Attorney General McDaniel Targets Identity Theft
Today, newly elected Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced a proposal aimed at preventing identity theft that will be presented as part of his legislative package for the 2007 legislative session.
"Essentially what you'll see is a package of bills that fall under the categories of consumer protection and/or law enforcement," McDaniel said.
The "Security Freeze Act" will allow victims of identity theft to lock down access to their financial information to prevent the information from being used repeatedly in further acts of fraud.
"Because somebody has access to your ID and access to your confidential financial information, they can victimize you by opening a credit card this month, a bank account the following month, and opening a mortgage the month after that," McDaniel said. "Locking down access to the victims confidential information, prevents them from being re-victimized."
Increased penalties for identity theft are also being considered. Currently, financial identity fraud is a Class C felony, punishable by three to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If the offense is enhanced to a Class B felony, it will be punishable by five to 20 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.