Langevin introduces new identity theft legislation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Identity theft is no joke. It’s not a matter of “if” you will be targeted — but more of “when” you will be targeted.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, millions of victims have their identity stolen every year.

And major companies are not safe — last year it was Target and this year it was Anthem.

Anthem, a giant health insurer, took more that two months to alert customers of a date breach.

Home Depot took five months and Target took nearly one month.

According to lawmakers, in each case the process was too long and thieves had more than enough time to steal customer information.

“Cyber theft is never going to be solved, it’s a problem to be managed,” Congressman Jim Langevin said.

Congressman Langevin unveiled three bills on Tuesday that would give customers affected by hackers added protection.

One of these bills is the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which requires companies to notify a customer within 30 days of a breach.

“They can rest assured that within 30 days they’ll be notified by that business so they can be more proactive,” Congressman Langevin said.

According to the federal trade commission, one out of 40 households has a child who is a victim of identity theft — and most don’t even know it.

“Most of the time we see a child identity theft go on for years and years without protection because kids aren’t using credit, or parents don’t see the issue,” Matt Culina, CEO of ID Theft 911 said.

The Protect Children From Theft Act would give parents the ability to freeze their child’s credit reports — which would prevent lenders from accessing a credit report entirely.

The third bill would allow for the prosecution of foreign dealers in stolen credit cards regardless of where they operate.

For more information on how to protect yourself from identity theft, please visit consumer.ftc.gov.

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