The Federal Trade Commission has launched IdentityTheft.gov, a new resource that makes it easier for identity theft victims to report and recover from identity theft.
The new website, www.IdentityTheft.gov, 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. A Spanish version of the site is available at www.RobodeIdentidad.gov.
In addition, the site offers specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft. The site 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 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.
The FTC has suggestions for how businesses can spread the word about this new resource. You may want to make the families you serve aware of precautions they should take following the death of a loved one; from time to time, scammers have stolen the identity of people who have recently died.
Visit www.nfda.org/legalforms (NFDA member login required) to download the following documents :
- Death Notification Checklist: When a family member or friend has died, it is important to notify various government agencies, banks, creditors and credit reporting agencies of the death. This document offers a checklist to help families ensure the right entities are contacted as soon as possible after a death has occurred.
- Sample Identity Theft Prevention Program for Funeral Homes: Under the "Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003," if your funeral home undertakes any of the following actions, it needs to institute and approve an Identity Theft Prevention Program: (1) regularly enters into arrangements with at-need or preneed consumers which allow the consumers to pay for funerals in multiple payment installments; (2) regularly sells preneed insurance policies as an agent for an insurance company which allows the consumer to purchase the policy through multiple installment payments; or (3) regularly refers consumers to consumer financing companies that extend the consumers credit to purchase funerals.