LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Victims of identity theft in Virginia, Ohio and now Arkansas (search) have a way to make the experience a little less painful, and to get their good names back a bit sooner.
Identity theft passports, which carry the photo and name of the victim and are issued by the state, can help victims prove to creditors, police and their banks that they’ve had their identities stolen and aren’t responsible for crimes committed with their identity.
One victim, Elizabeth Price of Little Rock, (search) ended up in jail after her driver’s license was used to cash a $900 check. Police didn’t know she was a victim of identity theft — the No. 1 fraud complaint across the nation last year — and Price had no way to prove it.
"I don't wish this on anyone. It's the most stressful, scariest, most terrifying thing I've ever been through. And all of a sudden, they pull you in, your whole life turns around, upside down,” Price said.
To get a passport, a victim first files a police report, sends it to the attorney general, who, after verifying the identify theft, issues the passport.
"We have to do things to help the victims not be further victimized in our society … so I think it's a very popular issue to corral the bad guys and not hurt the good guys in the process," said Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe (search).
The Federal Trade Commission (search) estimates 10 million people a year have their identities stolen, at an annual cost of $50 billion. It has also been the No. 1 fraud complaint for five consecutive years.
Click on the video box above for a complete report by FOX News' Phil Keating.