A charge shows up on your credit card statement that you don’t recognize, and in checking it out, you learn that your identity has been stolen. But what should you do? Your BBB® has learned that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other federal agencies have created a new, one-stop resource to help people report and recover. The resource at www.IdentityTheft.gov was created as a result of an Executive Order signed last fall calling for the streamlining and consolidating of resources for identity theft victims by May 15, 2015. There is a Spanish version available at www.robodeidentidad.gov.
According to an OnGuardOnline blog about the new resource, consumers who are victims of identity theft need a recovery plan, and that’s what this new resource provides. It begins with four essential “do-it-now” steps, then “what to do next” actions. It has interactive checklists and sample letters and specialized tips for specific forms of ID theft such as tax-related and medical identity theft. The site also provides links to organizations that are “critical to the recovery process, like credit bureaus, the Social Security Administration, the IRS, and local consumer protection offices.”
The site also has advice at https://www.identitytheft.gov/info-lost-or-stolen.html for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach. Also under development are enhancements to the site that will allow people to customize their recovery plan based on their specific experience.
According to the FTC Press Release announcing the new resource, identity theft has been the top consumer complaint reported to the FTC for the past 15 years, and in 2014, the Commission received more than 330,000 complaints from consumers who were victims of identity theft.
For more information you can trust regarding identity theft and data breaches, visit bbb.org/evansville.
While the BBB endeavors to provide accurate information to the public, changes in the law, facts or circumstances may have occurred since the foregoing was posted. The BBB recommends doing independent research and consulting professional advisors concerning a particular situation.