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Rep. Bachus Subcommittee Hears Testimony on Identity Theft

June 24, 2003

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, chaired by Rep. Spencer Bachus (AL), held the fifth in a series of hearings on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). At the hearing, the Subcommittee heard testimony from a variety of groups involved with the use of the credit reporting system.

Despite recent congressional actions on the topic, identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes in America. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft was the top consumer complaint received by the agency. Last year, about 162,000 individuals called the FTC?s identity theft hotline to report victimization. Testimony presented to the Subcommittee in earlier hearings from the Department of the Treasury highlighted the importance of the national credit reporting system in helping to detect identity theft and in creating a framework for assisting its victims.

The FCRA governs the credit reporting system in the United States. The system, which contains information on millions of individuals, is used every day in transactions such as granting credit, underwriting insurance, and conducting pre-employment background checks.

Prepared Testimony:

Panel I

  • Mr. J. Howard Beales, III, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission
  • Mr. Daniel L. Mihalko, Inspector in Charge, Congressional & Public Affairs, United States Postal Inspection Service
  • Mr. Tim Caddigan, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigative Division, United States Secret Service
  • Ms. Mary Ann Viverette, Chief of Police, Gaithersburg, Maryland, on behalf of the International Association of Chiefs? of Police
  • Mr. Andrew Kirkland, Assistant Chief, Portland Police Bureau Chiefs? Office

Panel II

Panel III

Source: House Finance Services Committee

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