— In the second of two pieces, NPR's Adam Hochberg reports that consumer groups have been calling for more stringent legislation to protect against identity theft...a white-collar crime that costs billions of dollars each year. Thieves open fraudulent credit accounts and charge purchases in the victim's name. California leads the nation in the number of cases AND legislative proposals to combat the crime. It's the first state to consider allowing consumers to block access to their own credit reports. Since almost all creditors reference those reports before issuing a card, NO new accounts could be opened...not even a legitimate one. The credit industry is strongly opposed.