Identity Theft and the Elderly – Senator Larry Craig and Committee on Aging

Jeff Schrade, a member of Senator Larry Craig’s staff, sent me this press release and I thought it would be useful for site visitors:

Listen to the committe hearing “Identity Theft: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Crime Wave Hits Seniors” live on July 18, at 9:30 am EST. A recording of the hearing will be made available after the hearning.


July 11, 2002


(Washington, DC) – With identity theft cases on the rise nationally, U.S. Senator Larry Craig announced today that the Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing next week concerning identity theft and the elderly. Craig serves as the ranking member of the Committee and requested the hearing. An elderly victim, government and private sector experts will testify, and several identification technologies will be demonstrated including voice, fingerprint, and face profile recognition, and iris identification.

The hearing titled “Identity Theft: The Nation’s Fastest Growing Crime Wave Hits Seniors” will be held Thursday, July 18, at 9:30 a.m. in room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. It will be webcast live over the Internet at

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is the fastest growing white collar crime in the United States – increasing an average nearly 40 percent per year for the past several years. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse estimates that each year 700,000 people in the United States are victims of identity theft. Older people make appealing financial targets because they typically have higher credit lines, greater home equity and more financial resources than younger populations. Incidents of identity theft over the age of 60 increased by 218 percent in 2001 (5,802 victims) over reported figures in 2000 (1,821 victims).

The Social Security Administration indicates that organized groups of identification thieves have been found operating inside banks, credit card companies and credit bureaus, and nursing homes, stealing identifiers and financial information. KGB-trained Russian mobs, Nigerian gangs, Venezuelan rings and others have been caught operating identity takeover operations.

Victims of identity theft spend an average of $808 and 175 hours actively working to clean up their credit reports and other complications.

Hearing Witnesses

* Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John T. Stevens, Jr. – victim of identity theft

* Alice Fisher, Associate Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

* Howard Beales, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, U.S. Federal Trade Commission

* James Huse Jr., Inspector General, Social Security Administration

* Doug Coombs, Deputy Special Agent, Financial Crimes Division, U. S Secret Service

* Mari J. Frank, Esq.,Privacy and Identity Theft Consultant

* Boris Melnikoff, Consultant to the Regional President, American Bankers Association

* Stewart Pratt, Executive Director, Consumer Data Industry Association

* Dennis Carlton, International Biometrics Group – an expert in biometrics


Jeff Schrade (202) 224-8710

Maria Vallejo (202)224-4839

Author: Richard Patterson

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