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New legislation to improve ID verification standards

Jul 16, 2013 Dave King

The federal government has increased efforts to deter identity theft, as this crime is one of the most financially and socially devastating in the United States today. The Federal Trade Commission receives hundreds of thousands of complaints related to identity theft every year, while consumers lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the crime.

Proper ID verification standards among businesses and financial institutions can help reduce the prevalence of theft. Additionally, several state governments have passed legislation to further deter the crime.

The Telegraph recently reported that the state Supreme Court in Illinois passed a new rule meant to strengthen ID verification standards that went into effect on the first day of this month. According to the news provider, the rule prohibits the inclusion of birth dates and names of minors in legal documents that are involved in civil cases.

Minors and the elderly are among the two most targeted demographics when it comes to identity theft, as parents will often not expect their child's identity to be stolen. Additionally, the states with the highest rates of the crime are also home to the most senior citizens, as these individuals tend to not evaluate their credit scores as much as younger adults.

The source explained that this move is likely directly related to the state's decision to transfer many of its services into electronic environments, which could increase the risk of identity theft.

Businesses remain the best first line of defense against identity theft, and as such they need to take responsibility of records management and ID verification as soon as possible. By training all employees in the best practices of ID verification and implementing more stringent policies, companies can minimize the risk of sanctions, fines and financial loss that come with identity theft.