All too often, politics can stand in the way of progress. Fortunately, preventing identity theft, fraud, and scams is so important to members of Congress that all partisan politics fell by the wayside when the House came together to create a task force to address consumers’ concerns. Representatives from multiple states and across party lines have joined in the effort to raise public awareness and draft policies that will keep individuals safe from this growing crime.

The task force, conceived of by US Rep David Young (R-IA) and spearheaded by U.S Reps. Mike Bishop (R-MI), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Bob Dold (R-IL), Tom Emmer (R-MN), John Katko (R-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), John Moolenaar (R-MI), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), has set its sights on putting an end to crimes involving fraud. One of their special interests is in helping senior citizens, a group that is especially hard-hit by scammers.

Rep. Young was the driving force behind the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force to Combat Identity Theft and Fraud, an entity within Congress that is working to field constituents’ complaints and raise public awareness. The task force is also working to develop mainstream solutions to these types of crimes in order to prevent further victims.

One of the goals of this initiative is the development of so-called “common sense” preventive tactics, but as the history of identity theft and fraud has shown, prevention is anything but common sense. Scammers find new ways every day to steal their victims’ funds and information, which is why the group is charged with informing the public of everyday tips and advice they can use to protect themselves.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, some of the ways the public can safeguard their information is to never give out personal data to someone who calls or messages them, no matter why they request it. Also, be sure to verify any call you receive from an organization, like your bank or utility company, before submitting a payment or handing over your sensitive information.

The task force also strongly recommends one of the most crucial things the public can do, which is to share news of new scams and threats. By keeping the conversation with family and friends open, friendly, and engaging, consumers can do a lot to prevent this kind of crime.

Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, anyone can use our services, and anyone can help us help others. If you found this information useful, please consider donating to the Identity Theft Resource Center to help us keep our services free to the public.