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MAITLAND, Fla. – A new survey by Star Systems finds that despite the ongoing national debate over privacy versus security 92% of Americans think it is important that the government take action on the issue of identity theft. In addition, the Star Systems survey reveals that 74% of consumers are willing to provide an ID when applying for a loan or opening an account, while more than two-thirds want the financial services industry to have programs in place to verify the identity of consumers who open checking/savings and credit card accounts. The survey also finds that close to 51% of Americans are very concerned about identity theft, significantly more than unemployment (47%) or corporate fraud (47.6%). More than 65% believe it is easy to obtain a fraudulent driver’s license. More than 66% think it’s important that financial institutions verify the identity of those who open bank accounts, and 72% think it’s important that financial institutions and credit card companies verify the identity of those who open credit card accounts. Close to 60% think it is important that retailers require a second form of ID to verify a customer using a credit or signature debit card. When credit/signature debit card fraud and identity theft were combined, close to 15.9% of consumers reported that they had been victims of at least one of these crimes. At least 13 bills were introduced in Congress last year to address identity theft. Some would toughen criminal penalties for identity thieves, while others would create minimum standards for driver’s licenses so that they would be issued under more stringent controls and be more difficult to tamper with.

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