With seemingly daily reports of new data breaches and related scams, it’s no secret that identity theft is now more of a concern than ever. In an effort to help victims work their way through the process of restoring and protecting their identities, the Federal Trade Commission has launched a new online interactive tool.
IdentiyTheft.gov – and its Spanish counterpart RobodeIdentidad.gov – are the FTC’s latest resources for identity theft victims; aiming to make it easier for consumers to report and recover from the often devastating intrusion.
The website provides an interactive checklist, sample letters and other materials that are intended to simplify the recovery process and help victims to understand which recovery steps should be taken as soon as they are alerted that their identity has been stolen.
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.
The site also offers specialized tips for different forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft, the FTC says in a statement.
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.
FTC Launches New Resource for Identity Theft Victims [Federal Trade Commission]