Thursday, July 20, 2000

Bunning bill aims to stem identity theft

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky has filed a bill designed to reduce the growing problem of identity theft by limiting government and business use of Social Security numbers.

        Mr. Bunning, a Southgate Republican, said identity theft is the fastest-growing financial crime.

        “If a criminal can get ahold of your Social Security number, they can apply for credit cards, buy a car, do just about anything in your name, and you may not even know for months or even years,” Mr. Bunning said Wednesday.

        Last year, there were more than 30,000 complaints about the misuse of Social Security numbers; most had to do with identity theft. That was up from about 11,000 complaints in 1998, according to the Social Security Administration.

        Mr. Bunning's bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.


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