STATEHOUSE (Feb. 7, 2019) — The House Financial Institutions Committee voted to advance State Rep. Ryan Lauer’s (R-Columbus) legislation that would help Hoosiers protect themselves against synthetic identity theft.
Lauer’s proposed legislation would add stronger protections for social security numbers, ensuring that Indiana’s citizens are made aware if someone is using their information.
Synthetic identity theft occurs when a person uses a combination of false information, such as a fake name, and stolen data, like a Social Security number, to open fraudulent accounts.
Currently, anyone can obtain a credit report, which, in some cases, reflects if there is fraudulent activity, however it gives an incomplete picture of what could be occurring. With synthetic identity theft, tax returns, credit reports, credit card bills and medical bills will not always reveal the identity theft.
“It is essential that we give Hoosiers the tools they need to protect themselves,” Lauer said. “Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. Having the ability to see if you or your child is a victim of this crime, hopefully early on, could prevent future damage to your financial health.”
Lauer said through House Bill 1668, Hoosiers could submit requests to credit reporting agencies in order to find out if they are victims of synthetic identity theft. The credit reporting agencies would search for accounts sharing the same Social Security number, but listed under false names. This information, under Lauer’s legislation, would also be included in an individual’s credit report.
If a fraudulent account is discovered, the victim could take legal action against the identity thief and work to safeguard their information.
According to Lauer, this proposal provides Hoosiers another tool to protect their identity, resolve fraudulent financial accounts and safeguard their children.
To learn more about House Bill 1668, click here.
State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
A high-resolution photo of Lauer can be downloaded by clicking here.