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Larson, Reed Introduce Bill to Help Victims of Identity Theft

December 17, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01) and Ranking Member Tom Reed (NY-23) introduced the Improving Social Security’s Service to Victims of Identity Theft Act (H.R. 5446). This bill would require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide identity theft victims with a single point of contact within SSA when the misuse of their Social Security number (SSN) results in the need to resolve one or more issue(s) with SSA.

“In this day and age when we are increasingly vulnerable to hacking of our identities, it is critical that people have a single point of contact they can reach out to for assistance when identity theft has caused problems with their Social Security number or benefits. That is why I, along with Ranking Member Reed, have introduced the Improving Social Security’s Service to Victims of Identity Theft Act. This legislation will provide a single point of contact in the Social Security Administration that will be responsible for resolving Social Security-related issues in connection with the theft. This will hopefully ease the burden for people who are victims of identity theft,” said Larson.

“It’s not fair to compound the stress of identity theft with bureaucracy. We care about ensuring that victims don’t have to deal with a different person during every call to the Social Security Administration, or have to explain their situation repeatedly while worrying if the SSA employee they are working with is a fraudster. SSA should make it easier, not harder to undo the damage, and having a single point of contact for victims ensures peace of mind,” said Reed.

“On behalf of our nearly 38 million members and all older Americans nationwide, AARP is pleased to endorse the Improving Social Security’s Service to Victims of Identity Theft Act. Your legislation would streamline the assistance provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to individuals who have their Social Security number stolen,” said Bill Sweeney, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, AARP.

The bill comes after a strong history of bipartisan agreement on this issue. An identical bill passed the House easily in the 115th Congress, and earlier this month, Larson and Reed sent joint letters to SSA and its Inspector General requesting a review of the agency’s actions to address fraudulent Social Security robocalls. These robocalls falsely appear to be from SSA and seek to get people to hand over money or their SSNs, potentially leading to identity theft.

The bill has been endorsed by:

The bill text can be found here.

A fact sheet on the bill can be found here.