Identity theft is a real bitch! Once its stolen you realize how fragile and vulnerable your life is. While black people do not suffer identity theft at the same rate as white Americans we suffer greater financial loss. In 2014, financial losses from identity theft topped $26 million. Seventeen percent of black people have experienced some form of fraud usually in the form of credit card fraud. Others have suffered crippling identity theft to the point of destroyed credit, loss of home or car and even a job.
Black people can now find immediate help if they think they are victims of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched IdentityTheft.gov, a new government website designed to offer much-needed help if your identity has been stolen.
IdentityTheft.gov is set up in a simple step-by-step format allowing the user to click each step in the process to begin recovering their identity. For our brown brothers and sisters its Spanish counterpart is RobodeIdentidad.gov
The user will start by calling the companies where you know the fraud occurred and then cancel or freezing credit accounts. They will then change passwords and place a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus. Then the user will fill out an FTC identity theft report to let them know what’s going on. Each of the steps includes all the links, forms, and phone numbers you’ll need to complete each task. The process has been streamlined to get you through the steps you need to take action. By the time you’re finished you will have done quite a bit to protect yourself from further harm.
The FTC said in a statement that the website will offer specific tips for different forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft,
IdentityTheft.gov provides specific information for consumers who get caught up in common data breaches. Over 300,000 identity theft incidents were reported to the agency in 2014 alone. This resource was developed in response to the problem.
But as you may know identity theft is easier to carry out than correct. Many thousands of black people suffer through the endless phone calls, filling out forms and dealing with confused and un-helpful creditors. Its best not to get caught up in the first place. With the proper precautions you can avoid identity theft. Learn how by clicking here.