Bill pushes for fraudulent activity to be placed on convicted identity thieves' credit histories

Lawmakers are looking to hold identity thieves accountable for the mess they create for victims.

Lawmakers are looking to hold identity thieves accountable for the mess they create for victims.

The Identity Theft Victims Protection Act of 2019 is sponsored by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and co-sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).

The bill requires consumer reporting agencies to remove any information that was the result of fraud from a victim's credit history.

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Instead, the fraudulent activity would be placed on the criminal's credit history after a conviction.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, almost 450,000 people nationwide reported identity theft last year, with credit card theft the most common occurrence.

"It's certainly rampant in our society," identity theft victim Dan Wells said.

Wells said his credit card information has been stolen several times.

"They were buying TV, jewelry, luggage," Wells said. "They went right to Macy's and tried to buy whatever they could."

Luckily for Wells, his credit card companies flagged the charges and corrected them right away, but not everyone is as fortunate.

The FTC said Americans reported losing almost $1.5 billion to fraud last year.

Wells said while the proposal is a step toward holding criminals accountable, he feels more criminal penalties are needed.

"I just wonder how much more weight can we add to it," Wells said.