By Christopher Pugh, Fall 2015 Intern
Identity theft can be a life altering event for its victims if immediate action is not taken after the theft. This can be a scary and frantic time for the victim who does not have a plan to counteract the consequences of identity theft. Because the victim is the party most likely with the burden of proving their innocence in any fraudulent transactions, taking swift action can not only reduce losses due to theft, but also create a record for the victim that can help prove innocence to would be creditors.
To help Americans in taking action to fight the negative consequences of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission has created a new website with a detailed plan that victims can follow. The Identitytheft.gov website is an interactive plan that is divided into three easy to follow checklists: (1) What to do Right Away, (2) What to do Next, and (3) Other Steps. Each section of the plan offers drop down menus that detail each step complete with phone numbers to credit reporting agencies, sample letters to creditors, and website links with even more resources.
Additionally, the plan provides extensive information on how to report identity theft to the local and federal authorities. The checklist plan will even generate your Identity Theft Affidavit for submission to the Federal Trade Commission, and it is all easily printable for your records.