The recent theft of a laptop computer containing the birth dates and Social Security numbers of millions of veterans and military personnel underscores the need to provide our veterans with adequate protection against identify theft and fraud.  Last Thursday, I introduced H.R. 5783, of which I call the Veterans' Identity and Fraud Protection Act of 2006 to assist veterans whose personal data has been compromised.  In short, the legislation provides veterans with a number of services needed to effectively recover from identity theft and fraud.

Unlike other legislative proposals aimed at helping victims of fraud or theft, H.R. 5783 would expressly provide veterans with up to $30,000 of identity theft insurance, in addition access to fraud resolution services.  This is the only introduced legislation that provides veterans with risk insurance.  The bill would also require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to notify any veteran whose personal data has been lost or stolen.  H.R. 5783 would give veterans access to up to 12 months of credit reporting and monitoring services as well as having the option to put a credit alert and security freeze on their credit record.  Our veterans deserve the safety and security of knowing that the federal government will take vigorous actions to protect our veterans’ identity and credit standing.