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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 10, 2006
Fact Sheet: The President's Identity Theft Task Force
Today, President Bush Signed An Executive Order Creating The Nation's First Ever "Identity Theft Task Force." This task force will marshal the resources of the Federal government to crack down on the criminals who traffic in stolen identities and protect American families from this devastating crime.
The Identity Theft Task Force Is An Important Step Forward In The Fight Against Identity Theft
The President's Identity Theft Task Force Reinforces And Intensifies The Administration's Commitment To Deal With Identity Theft. This task force, chaired by the Attorney General and the FTC Chair, strengthens our efforts to protect the financial information of our citizens.
The Identity Theft Task Force Enhances Cooperation Of Federal, State, And Local Authorities. The Task Force will help law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute identity thieves, it will help educate consumers and businesses on ways they can protect themselves, and it will increase the safeguards on personal data held by the Federal government.
The Administration Has Been Taking Action To Fight Identity Theft
In 2003, President Bush Signed The Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act Of 2003 (FACT Act), Which Created A National System Of Fraud Detection. Among other provisions, the FACT Act:
In 2004, President Bush Signed The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, Which Gave Law Enforcement New Tools To Prosecute Those Who Violate The Financial Privacy Of American Citizens. This act created a new crime of "aggravated identity theft" and added two years to prison sentences for criminals convicted of using stolen credit card numbers and other personal data to commit crimes.
Identity Theft Harms The American People
Identity Theft's Damage Is Widespread. Citizens work hard to build their credit histories and rely on their credit to help their families build better lives. Since 2003, surveys have estimated the number of U.S. adults who became victims of identity theft within the preceding year at around 10 million, and the annual losses due to identity theft amount to $50 billion.
Nationwide ID Theft Education Campaign To "AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend"
The Federal Trade Commission And The Justice Department Will Send "AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend" Education Kits To 4,500 Victim Advocates Across The Country. The U.S. Social Security Administration will involve its field offices. Other partners include the National Association of Realtors, the American College Personnel Association-College Student Educators International, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the National Crime Prevention Council, the National Apartment Association, and America's Community Bankers.
Materials In The "AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend" Education Kit Include A Victim Recovery Guide And A 10-Minute Video On Identity Theft. All materials are available in English and in Spanish and through a toll-free number (1-877-IDTHEFT) and Web site (http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/).
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