We offer these comments on the proposed rule on identity theft definitions, the duration of active duty military alerts, and the appropriate proof of identity under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Our primary concern is that the definition of identity theft report is too open-ended. The definition will introduce many problems by permitting each CRA and furnisher to require different additional information before a sworn statement filed with a law enforcement agency qualifies as an identity theft report. The first problem is that consumers will never know at the time they file a request for a fraud alert or a block if their document meets the definition of an identity theft report. Second, consumers will have to assemble different packets of information to meet the varying requirements of different CRAs and furnishers, a result contrary to the goal of FACTA to make it easier for identity theft victims to eliminate the consequences of ID theft. Third, the delay inherent in a request and reply process before the report can meet the definition of an ID theft report will degrade the value of the extended fraud alert. The value and certainty of using an extended fraud alert to stop an ongoing series of thefts in its tracks will be lost if the initial submission of a report filed under penalty of perjury with a law enforcement entity does not, by itself, constitute an ID theft report and thus immediately trigger the right to an extended fraud alert.