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Identity Theft In The New Year

Even if all precautions were carefully taken, it is sometimes unavoidable – identity theft may strike.  When it does, immediate action needs to take place.  The Federal Trade Commission(FTC) alerts consumers that believe their personal information has been obstructed to act efficiently by following these four steps:

 

  1. Place a fraud alert on credit reports and review all credit reports.
  2. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  3. File a report with the local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
  4. File a complaint with the FTC.

 

Additional details can be found on the FTC’s web site at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/.  It is important to carefully document the exact steps taken as well as any conversations when reporting the fraud to file with the identity theft victim’s personal records.  Although these steps will guide consumers on the right path to regaining their identity, don’t expect this process to be easy.  According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, on average, a victim of identity theft spends 175 hours restoring his/her good name. 




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