Identity Theft Victims Have A New Tool From FTC

Identity theft

Nick Youngson http://nyphotographic.com/

Consumers who face identity theft often have no idea how to begin fixing the problem. The FTC has made this process much easier to understand with the creation of a new website that victims can use to create a recovery plan: IdentityTheft.gov.  In the past, many creditors would require a police report first, but now many consumers can avoid that step entirely. Kudos to the FTC – this is definitely a step in the right direction.

What are the biggest dangers of identity theft?

Once a thief has captured your personal information, they can take advantage in many ways.  Unauthorized access to your bank account can be a real killer, causing you to miss payments and bounce checks. Using your credit card number to run up charges on your credit cards is another common scam.  But, what surprises many people are the less obvious ways your identity can get used. For example, some thieves open new utility accounts in a fake name or get medical treatment on your health insurance.  And a growing scam is one that happens every year at tax time.  Identity thieves are filing millions of dollars worth of false tax returns in order to get a tax refund in your name.

It never hurts to be extra careful with your personal identity.  Make sure you review your credit accounts monthly. And never, ever give any information to anyone unless you are sure that you know who they are and why they need your information.

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