By: Richard B. Newman
The Federal Trade Commission has launched IdentityTheft.gov, a new digital resource that makes it easier for identity theft victims to report and recover from identity theft. The website also assists with inquiries to determine if you have in fact been a victim of identity theft, without knowing it.
The new website provides an interactive checklist that walks people through the recovery process and helps them understand which recovery steps should be taken upon learning their identity has been stolen. It also provides sample letters and other helpful resources. See: www.identitytheft.gov.
In addition, the website offers specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft. The website also has advice for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach.
Identity theft has been the top consumer complaint reported to the Federal Trade Commission for the past 15 years, and in 2014, the Commission received more than 330,000 complaints from consumers who were victims of identity theft.
The new tool aims to make it easier for consumers to recover from identity theft by restoring and protecting their identities.
According to the FTC, immediate steps that should be taken include contacting the companies where you know fraud has occurred and placing fraud alert on your credit reports.
Additionally, the tool provides specific information for consumers who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in the case of a now all-too-common data breach.
According to the FTC, the resource was developed as a response to the growing number of identity theft incidents reported to the agency each year. While identity theft has always been a top consumer complaint reported to the Commission, in 2014 it received more than 330,000 reports from consumers who were victims of such incidents.
Richard B. Newman is a leading Online Advertising and Marketing Compliance Lawyer at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements.
Information conveyed in this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice. This information is not intended to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. No person should act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney.