FTC: Law Will Make It Harder to Cash In on Identity Theft

Measure requires banks, businesses to look for "red flags"

The Federal Trade Commission says a law that takes effect on Saturday will make it harder for identity thieves to cash in on their victims' names.

The new federal law requires banks and many businesses to be on guard for red flags. The government is not ordering specific requirements, but the "Red Flag Law" requires businesses to come up with their own written rules.

"For example, if you're a credit card issuer, and you get a change of address request followed immediately by a request for a replacement credit card, that's a red flag," FTC spokesman Tom Carter said.

The law is aimed at helping people such as a Grand Prairie woman whose personal information was used by another person.

She said she couldn't believe it when police showed her a driver's license with her number, date of birth and address -- but with a man's name and picture.

The man also had a checkbook with all of her information, she said.

Police said the name on the fake license -- Victor Cardillo -- wasn't real, either. James Peebles is in jail in connection with the case.

The victim said she doesn't want what happened to her to happen to anyone else.

Banks and businesses are already forbidden from doing things such disposing of personal information in dumpsters.

Companies that don't follow the "Red Flag Law" can face fines of up to $2,500 per violation. There is a six-month grace period for most businesses.

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