WASHINGTON (7/15/08)—The Federal Trade Commission has announced its intention to conduct a survey of identity theft victims regarding remedies available to them under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). The survey participants will be selected from identity theft victims who contacted the FTC between Jan.1 and May 30 this year, according to the agency’s Federal Register
document. Information gathered from the survey is expected to allow the FTC to focus its approach regarding consumer education and law enforcement. The FTC also recently issued a reminder that an interagency identity theft “red flags” rule requires credit unions and other financial institutions and creditors to develop and adopt written identity theft prevention programs by Nov. 1. The red flags rule was issued last November by the FTC, the National Credit Union Administration, and federal bank and thrift regulators. The rule requires each financial institution and creditor that holds any consumer account--or other account for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft--to develop and implement an Identity Theft Prevention Program for combating identity theft in connection with new and existing accounts. The program must include reasonable policies and procedures for detecting, preventing, and mitigating identity theft and enable a financial institution or creditor to:
* Identify relevant patterns, practices, and specific forms of activity that are "red flags" signaling possible identity theft and incorporate those red flags into the program; * Detect red flags that have been incorporated into the program; * Respond appropriately to any red flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft; and *Ensure the Program is updated periodically to reflect changes in risks from identity theft.
The agencies also issued guidelines to assist financial institutions and creditors in developing and implementing a program, including a supplement that provides examples of red flags. Use the resource links below for more on the FTC survey and on the identify theft rule.