House shows support for identity theft bill

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(Host) The Vermont House on Tuesday gave its strong preliminary approval to legislation that makes it a crime to steal someone’s identity for fraudulent purposes.

While it’s currently illegal to use a person’s credit card or withdraw money from their bank account without permission, there are no laws that specifically address the act of stealing someone’s identity.

Colchester Representative Maureen Dakin says ID theft is becoming a serious problem in the state. Using stolen driver’s licenses or other forms of identification, thieves are able to apply for credit; credit that can then be used for fraudulent purposes. Dakin says the problem is growing because of advances in technology:

(Dakin) “In this technological age where things are happening over the Internet all the time, we are a paperless society in terms of exchanging money. It is becoming a growing problem and 44 other states have identity theft laws on the books. So we are past due to put one for consumers.”

(Host) Dakin says many people don’t realize that they are victims of identity theft until long after the crime has taken place:

(Dakin) “You often find out when you’re turned down for a loan or something having to do with somebody looking at credit report. And that’s often times the first information that a person has. And that’s why so much of the bill deals with the credit reporting agencies.”

(Host) The measure will come up for final approval in the House today.

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