Utah joins coalition of states urging FTC to revise 2007 identity theft rules

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ST. GEORGE — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes joined a coalition of 31 attorneys general Friday to send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to continue its identity theft rules.

The letter cites the proliferation of identity theft in many states and the growth in technology since the rules were adopted in November 2007.

“Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States of America and one of the most disruptive and damaging to victims’ lives,” Reyes said in a press release. “The Utah Attorney General’s Office-led SECURE Strike Force focuses tremendous resources on protecting the identities of Utah. We ask the FTC to do the same.”

The current rules require certain financial institutions and businesses that grant credit or issue debit or credit cards to take steps to detect, prevent and mitigate identify theft by implementing reasonable safeguards. The letter suggests adding a requirement that a cardholder must be notified by email or cell phone if an email address or cell phone number is changed.

That suggestion is in addition to the existing requirement to mail notification upon the change of account address. The attorneys general also ask that suspicious account activity include account access by new and previously unknown devices and repeated unsuccessful access attempts.

“Since 2007, the FTC’s red flag and card issuer rules have provided critical early warnings of identity theft to businesses and consumers and have helped to stop countless fraudsters in their tracks when they try to use stolen personal information,” David Sonnenreich of the Utah Attorney General’s Tax and Financial Services Division said in the press release. “However, as cyberthieves become more sophisticated, we need to adopt better responses.”

Reyes joined the attorneys general of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin in signing this letter.

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