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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 8:57 a.m., Thursday, December 28, 2006

Identity theft laws will ring in the new year

Advertiser Staff

Three new identity theft laws go into effect Monday in Hawai'i:

  • Notification of security breeches

    Act 135 requires businesses and government agencies that keep confidential personal information about consumers to notify those consumers if that information is compromised by an unauthorized disclosure.

  • Destruction of personal information

    Act 136 requires businesses and government agencies to take reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to an individual's personal information when disposing of the records they keep.

  • Security freeze

    Act 138 allows victims of identity theft to place a security freeze on their credit reports, which will prevent identity thieves from taking out credit in the names of their victims.

    Identity theft is the number one concern among consumers contacting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Hawai'i is ranked 13th in the nation for fraud complaints.

    Overall, Hawaii is ranked 25th in the nation for identity theft.

    According to the FTC, Hawai'i cases of identity theft shot up 265 percent from 2001 to 2005, resulting in millions of dollars of losses to consumers.

    "We see hundreds of unsuspecting Hawai'i residents become victims to a wide variety of identity theft crimes," said OCP Executive Director Stephen Levins. "These new laws will help to protect consumers from the fastest growing crime in the nation."

    For more information on protecting against identity theft and scams, call 800-394-1902 or visit idtheft.hawaii.gov.