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Downey Bill to Establish Identity Theft Database Gains Approval of Assembly Committee

Legislation Assemblywoman Joann Downey sponsored to establish an identity theft database that would facilitate investigations by law enforcement and help victims rebuild their lives and reputations was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

“Millions of people each year have their lives completely upended by identity theft. Most victims don’t know how the offender obtained their information, and many find themselves not knowing where to start when it comes to reporting and investigating the crime,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Establishing this database can help law enforcement collect information, track patterns and bring perpetrators to justice.”

The bill (A-4156) would require the New Jersey attorney general to establish and maintain a database of people who have been victims of identity theft. The database would help victims establish to credit reporting agencies and other entities that they have had their identities stolen. Additionally, the information may be used to assist law enforcement agencies in the ongoing investigation of identity theft.

To be included in the database, a victim must submit to the attorney general a copy of a police report filed with a local law enforcement agency, a copy of any related court order and any other information prescribed by the attorney general.

The database would be accessible only to law enforcement agencies, victims of identity theft and parties authorized by victims.

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.