FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13th, 2019
Contact: David Carl (505) 288-2465
Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas and a coalition of 31 Attorneys General sent a
letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging the commission to maintain and strengthen its Identity
Theft Rules, which were originally adopted in November 2007. The letter cites the proliferation of identity theft
in many states, and the growth in technology since the rules were adopted.
“Banks in our state have a responsibility to protect New Mexican consumers when they see signs of fraud,” said
Attorney General Hector Balderas. “These banks will not take these steps on their own, so I am calling on the
FTC to uphold and bolster these important regulations to protect New Mexicans.”
The current rules require certain financial institutions and businesses that grant credit or issue debit or credit
cards to take steps to detect, prevent and mitigate identify theft by implementing reasonable safeguards. The
letter also suggests adding a requirement that cardholder must be notified by email or cell phone if an email
address or cell phone number are changed. This is in addition to the existing requirement to mail notification
upon change of account address. The Attorneys General also ask that suspicious account activity include
account access by new and previously unknown devices and repeated unsuccessful access attempts.
Identity theft is widespread and causes serious harm to individuals, businesses and the economy. A Department
of Justice study showed that in 2017 alone, 16.7 million U.S. consumers were victims of identity fraud and
fraudsters stole $16.8 billion from U.S. consumers. Preventing and stopping harm resulting from identity theft
requires everyone, from businesses to individuals to government, to do their part.
Please refer to the attached letter.