Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Queens County – 35th AD) announced that a bill to help prevent identity theft has been signed into law and will soon be in effect (Ch. 499 of Laws of New York 2003). The new law requires merchants to remove expiration dates of debit and credit cards from electronically created printed receipts. It also requires that no more than the last five digits of the account number appear on the receipt.
"Our society increasingly relies on debit and credit cards that create receipts with our personal information every time we make a transaction. This system is convenient, but it is also an easy target for thieves to obtain account numbers and rack-up illegal charges. The new law helps to protect consumers from this kind of theft," said Assemblyman Aubry.
The Federal Trade Commission reported that in the past five years over 27 million Americans have been victims of identity theft. In the past year, close to 10 million people were victims of this crime, and paid $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses. Businesses and financial institutions faced $48 billion in expenses.
All new credit and debit-card machines must comply if they are placed into service on or after January 1, 2004. Machines in use before then have until January 1, 2007 to meet the new standards. The maximum civil penalty for not complying with the law is $4,500.
"This new law creates better protection from identity theft for the people of New York," said Assemblyman Aubry. "The number of Americans who are faced with this violation every year is skyrocketing, and it is essential that we do more to curb this trend."