Last week Joyce mentioned identity theft in a MoneyTip$ post, and that reminded me of a new resource released last month by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The new tool combines two important functions of the FTC: 1) providing a place to report identity theft; and 2) providing information about what steps to take after you learn or suspect your identity has been misused.
As part of the updated and improved Identity Theft website, those who report an incident will then be guided through a personalized recovery plan. After you enter details about what types of accounts have been misused or other specific details pertaining to your case, the personalized recovery guide will prompt you with steps you need to take based on your situation.
I browsed through the site, and I’m impressed. The idea of a one-stop shop where I will be prompted to take needed steps is very appealing. Every person who has told me about recovering from identity theft has mentioned how much work it can be. I think people can find it overwhelming. With a central location where you can keep track of what has been done so far, and be reminded of what to do next, I think it would be easier to keep moving forward, rather than giving up.
The one-stop shop also helps encourage people to report identity theft to the FTC. It still needs to be reported to the police, but also reporting to the FTC helps them gather information about the kind of identity theft that is taking place. In the long run, that may help authorities take steps to prevent identity theft.
If you, or someone you know, has been affected by this rapidly-growing crime, turn to the federal identity theft website for guidance. ~Barb