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identity theft, security freezes, fraud alerts, and more


An identity thief “co-opts some piece of your personal information and appropriates it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. An all-too-common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name.” (USAFedCU brochure)  There are many resources available online to help you deter, detect and defend against Identity Fraud, and much legislative and regulatory activity aimed at those goals, and consumer advocacy for additional protection.


For example, as of today (Nov. 1, 2006), New York State residents have the power to place a “security freeeze” on their credit files which can help in “thwarting someone from opening credit cards or lines of credit in another persons name.”   (CPB press releaseWestchester Journal article)  Twenty other states have so-called Security Freeeze or Fraud Alert laws of various sorts, and Consumers Union lists the states, with brief descriptions of their laws and links. 

Consumers Union is also engaged right now in an election season campaign to send messages to federal candidates asking for more financial privacy protection, including giving consumers in every state the right to place security freezes on their credit files.   You can find more CU information on Identity Theft protection here, and its Financial Privacy Now weblog here.  

Here are two other comprehensive sources of information to help you prevent or battle identity theft:

AvoidIDTheftN  Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Website.  The FTC has compiled easy to understand guides for those who think they are already victims of identity theft and for those who want to do all they can to prevent ID theft.  E.g., hey have guidance on dealing with local police in filing complaints, as well as an ID Theft Affidavit (with instructions) to use to inform credit bureaus of your fraudulent credit activity taking p lace in your name.

AvoidIDTheft   Consumer, on Oct. 26, 2006, added several ID Theft documents to its Library.  One is ID Theft & Account Fraud Prevention and Clean Up, which “can help you take steps to prevent ID theft, or if you are a victim, to clear up the problems created by ID theft and to lessen its impact on your life.” (Spanish version)  Another is a 24-page Leader’s Guide Strategies for Prevention and Clean Up, which is “written in question-and-answer format to help you anticipate frequently asked questions about ID theft and account fraud” and prepare for in-service or train-the-trainer presentations.  

1 Comment

  1. Staunton News

    November 27, 2006 @ 10:05 am


    identity theft security freezes fraud alerts and more…

    Protect your children from Identity theft. Kids and new borns are now the victims of identity theft. New borns are having their identity’s stolen at a young age, giving the criminals time to build up credit to abuse on a much larger scale. Parent…

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