FTC Comments on Identity Theft Provisions of FACTA
 
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FTC Comments on Identity Theft Provisions of FACTA
Provisions of New Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
Will Help Reduce Identity Theft and Help Victims Recover.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today said that provisions of the recently enacted Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) will help reduce identity theft and help victims recover.

In testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Social Security, Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said that many of the provisions will go into effect over the course of this year.

The testimony says one of the newly enacted provisions requires the three major credit reporting agencies to provide consumers with a free copy of their own credit report every 12 months. The requirement will become effective in December but will be phased in over nine months from West to East. The reports allow consumers to discover and correct errors in their credit records and to assure that accounts have not been fraudulently opened in their names.

Another provision that will help prevent identity theft is the National Fraud Alert System. 'Consumers who reasonably suspect they have been or may be victimized by identity theft, or who are military personnel on active duty away from home, can place an alert on their credit files. The alert will put potential creditors on notice that they must proceed with caution when granting credit,' the testimony says. This provision will take effect December 7, 2004.

A provision of the law will require that account numbers on credit card receipts be shortened or 'truncated' so that merchants, employees, or others who may have access to the receipts do not have access to consumers' names and full credit card numbers.

The testimony reports that the FTC is working with banking regulators to identify 'red flag' indicators to help financial institutions and creditors analyze identity theft patterns so that they can take action to prevent further incidences of identity theft. The agencies also are working together to develop a rule that will require appropriate disposal of sensitive consumer information. 'This requirement will help to ensure that sensitive consumer information, including Social Security numbers, is not simply left in a trash dumpster, for instance, once a business no longer needs the information,' the testimony says.

Measures that will help consumers recover their credit reputations after they have been victims of identity theft include:

1) A provision that will require credit reporting agencies to stop reporting allegedly fraudulent account information when a consumer establishes that he or she has been the victim of identity theft;

2) A provision that requires creditors or businesses to provide copies of business records of fraudulent accounts or transactions related to them. 'This information can assist victims in proving that they are, in fact, victims. For example, they may be better able to prove that the signature on the application is not their signature;' and,

3) A provision that will allow consumers to report accounts affected by identity theft directly to creditors - in addition to credit reporting agencies - to prevent the spread of erroneous credit information.

'When fully implemented, these provisions should help to reduce the incidence of identity theft, and help victims recover when the problem does occur,' the testimony says.

The Commission vote to issue the testimony was 5-0.

Copies of the testimony are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business Practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

FTC's MEDIA CONTACT:

Claudia Bourne Farrell
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2181

For more information contact:

Paul S. Richard
Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163

619-239-1401

www.financial-education-icfe.org

Email Reply: info@icfe.org 

 

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the 'certified financial planner' (CFP) designation) and it is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The ICFE trains and certifies Personal Finance Instructors for its own curriculum. It also trains and certifies Credit Report Reviewers and Identity Theft Prevention Specialists.

The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, now in its 16th printing and has distributed over one million 'Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels' and 'Credit/Debit Card Sleeves' world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.

The ICFE is also a partner in the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves, an offshoot of America Saves, and the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) (studentdebthelp.org).

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from 'The Money Instruction Book,' a course in personal finance, positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an online resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books, software and personal finance courses.

 
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