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ICFE eNEWS #12-10 - March 27th 2012

FTC Issues Report on the Experiences of Victims Recovering from Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission issued a staff report summarizing the results of a survey of identity theft victims who were asked to describe their experiences dealing with consumer reporting agencies and, more generally, exercising their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), to recover from identity theft. The survey showed that most of the respondents were generally satisfied with their experiences, but the report also noted areas for improvement.

Congress has established several rights under the FACTA to help actual or potential identity theft victims protect themselves from, and recover from, identity theft. These rights enable victims to place fraud alerts on their credit report with the consumer reporting agencies, request a free credit report from the three national consumer reporting agencies when placing a fraud alert, block fraudulent information from appearing in their credit report, and receive a notice of these and other rights from the consumer reporting agencies.

According to the report, Using FACTA Remedies: An FTC Staff Report on a Survey of Experience of Identity Theft Victims, the survey showed:

  • Sixty-eight percent of the survey respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with their overall experiences with the consumer reporting agencies, but many consumers said it was difficult to reach a live person.
  • Less than half of the respondents were aware of most of their rights under FACTA before they contacted the consumer reporting agencies.
  • Some respondents complained about feeling pressured to buy additional identity theft monitoring products when they called the consumer reporting agencies.

The report concluded that:

  • The consumer reporting agencies may need to make it easier for consumers to reach a live person;
  • The FTC and other enforcement agencies should do more to educate the public about their rights under FACTA; and
  • The FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should use their respective authorities to address the consumer reporting agencies' Practices related to selling identity theft monitoring products or services when they are contacted by identity theft victims.

Consumer education continues to be an important priority for the FTC, which has an extensive program to provide consumers with the knowledge and tools needed to protect themselves from identity theft and to deal with its consequences. For example, the FTC receives thousands of contacts each week through its toll-free hotline and dedicated website. Callers to the hotline receive counseling from trained personnel on steps they can take to prevent or recover from the crime. The FTC also provides a variety of educational materials to help consumers deter, detect, and defend against identity theft. For example, the FTC's identity theft victim recovery guide, Taking Charge: What To Do If Your Identity is Stolen, explains the immediate steps victims should take to address the crime, how to obtain a credit report and correct fraudulent information in credit reports, how to file a police report, and how to protect personal information.

Based on a recommendation by the President's Identity Theft Task Force in 2007, the FTC conducted the survey of consumers who had called the FTC's identity theft hotline (1-877-ID-THEFT). The survey was designed to determine these consumers' general satisfaction with their rights and to examine the types of problems they encountered.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to issue the report was 4-0.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business Practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

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.

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San Diego, Ca 92163
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Home ] ICFE News Releases ] ICFE in the News ] Children and Money ] Financial Education ] Resource Center ] Credit Card Tips ][ Credit File Correction ] Mending Spending ] Links and Resources ]  [ Online Store ]

 

Copyright ©  1997 - by Paul S. Richard
and the Institute of Consumer Financial Education, All Rights Reserved.
View our
Privacy Policy Our Terms and Conditions

Institute of Consumer Financial Education
PO Box 34070
San Diego, Ca 92163
Paul S. Richard, Executive Director
Phone 619-239-1401

FAX 619-923-3284

Questions for www.financial-education-icfe.org Click to go to Website Contact Us or 
Website Design Donated by Desgn School Programs