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Senator Maria Cantwell: Fighting Identity Theft
Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the country. Washington state ranks eighth in the nation in the rate of identity theft crimes per capita. In a typical identity theft, a criminal will steal personal information from a victim without his or her knowledge, and use that information to obtain credit cards or other financial services. In short order, the thief can rack up tens of thousands of dollars - or more - in charges, all in the name of the unsuspecting victim.
The result: the victim's credit record can be destroyed before they even realize their personal information has been stolen. Victims of identity theft experience unending frustration trying to restore their credit ratings. Identity theft victims often feel like they are victims twice - once when their identity is stolen and again when they struggle to cut all of the red tape trying to clear their good names.
Yet many Americans don't know about this insidious crime, or the serious and lasting consequences it can have for its victims. I created this web site to provide information about the steps you should take if you're a victim of identity theft , as well as how you can avoid being victimized in the first place . It also explains what I'm doing in the Senate to protect victims . In addition, there's information about the scope of the identity theft problem and links to federal and state government resources and non-profit groups dedicated to addressing identity theft. Together, we can raise awareness of this crime and help protects its victims.