(Feb. 16) – Two bills by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, to extend successful programs that fight financial fraud and identity theft passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously this morning. HB16-1158 extends the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board and HB16-1159 extends the Colorado Fraud Investigators Unit.

“These programs protect people like you and me,” said Rep. Lee. “The perpetrators of identity theft and financial fraud are constantly getting more sophisticated, so it’s important to have experts working around the clock to help folks navigate the system. A statewide perspective is vital for people in every corner of Colorado to be protected against these increasingly widespread and harmful crimes.”

The board and unit operate under the Colorado Bureau of Investigations to provide identity theft and financial fraud expertise to local police and sheriffs throughout Colorado. They provide prevention support and education, and help victims navigate the complicated process to reestablish their identities and recover from the crimes. The unit operates the Colorado 24-Hour Identity Theft and Fraud Hotline so that victims have an advocate available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The rate of identity theft and financial fraud is increasing in Colorado.

The unit and board were established by the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Deterrence Act in 2006 and would end Sept. 1 unless continued by the General Assembly.

The unanimous approval sends the bills to the House floor for a second reading.

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