Millions of Americans are victims of identity theft each year. It’s been reported that in 2008 alone, over 10,000,000 Americans were victimized by id thieves. Below are a number of resources that can help you both protect yourself and your family against these ID fraudsters as well as provide guidance on what to do if you have had your identity stolen.
ProtectYourIDNow.org provides a wealth of information on how to protect your, and your children’s, identity and credit; as well as steps to take if your identity has been stolen. There are also numerous links to other supporting coalition members sites. (Note: This site is no longer being actively maintained but the information it provides is still highly relevant to identity and credit theft.)
The FTC also provides access to numerous resources for keeping your identity and your credit safe from identity thieves.
Be sure and visit the FTC’s Identity Theft microsite where they introduce the Deter. Detect. Defend approach to protecting yourself and your family against identity thieves.
Another essential resource for safeguarding your identity is provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Check out their Identity Theft and Fraud information for links to valuable information and alerts that will help you and your family remain safe from identity thieves and fraud.
Other Essential Government Resources
An Executive Order of the President established the President’s Task Force on Identity Theft in May 2006. The Task Force maintains a website, IDTheft.gov, with links for:
- Reporting Identity Theft
- Your Rights as a Victim of Identity Theft and
- A Guide for Assisting Victims of ID Theft
The latter provides guidance to attorneys and other victim advocates in working with pro bono clients who have fallen prey to identity thieves and fraudsters.
If you believe you’re a victim of financial fraud, you’ll want to bookmark StopFraud.gov. According to their website: “The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force maintains a wide list of resources and information dedicated to helping find and report suspected cases of financial fraud.” They provide links to this information as well as the means to report suspected financial fraud.
Use Google.com or Bing.com to search for local information and assistance in your area on identity theft and fraud. Read your local paper and tune into area news casts to find out about the latest scams and frauds percolating in your city.
Remember, education and information are the first and best line of defense against identity thieves and financial scammers.