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ID THEFT NEWS: WEEKLY UPDATE

IDENTITY THEFT IN THE NEWS

Over 12 million consumers a year become victims of identity theft. Click to download the FTC’s 2012 report on top consumer complaints.  Consumers may learn that they are a fraud victim after receiving a credit denial or collection for call for a debt they do not owe.   What can consumers do to protect their credit reports and their reputation?  Federal law provides identity theft victims with rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) 15 U.S.C. §§1681, et seq. Under the FCRA, identity theft victims have the right to request two (2) free credit reports every 12 months. Also, identity theft victims can place a fraud alert (90 day and extended 7 year) on their credit file.  

Identity theft victims can dispute credit report errors due to fraud, such as accounts, name variations, public records and addresses.  The credit reporting agencies must conduct a reasonable “reinvestigation” of the information disputed by the consumer.  The credit reporting agencies must block in 4 business days fraudulent information that appears in a credit report after they receive an identity theft report.  If the credit reporting agencies break these rules, then consumers have the right to sue them in federal court for actual and statutory damages, plus attorneys’ fees. 

Download the free identity theft affidavit HERE.

Micah Adkins represents victims of identity theft across the country.  Here are some of the identity theft stories I am following in and across the nation. 

FLORIDA

Miami – 2 Miami officers face identity theft charges

MiamiHerald.com

 MIAMI — Two Miami police officers were arrested Thursday on federal charges related to identity theft and tax-refund fraud. Malinsky Bazile, 28, and Vital Frederick, 26, are among 11 Miami police officers relieved of duty in recent months who face …

Child ID Theft

WJHG-TV

 Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Adam Putnam invited a group of kids to the Florida State Capitol Wednesday to announce legislation to protect their credit. Putnam told the story of a Zephyrhills girl who fell victim to

GEORGIA

Albany – Guarding against identity theft

WALB-TV

Albany Police are reminding residents how difficult it can be to recover from identity theft, which can pick during tax season. They say you can protect yourself by shredding important documents, keeping important papers away from places where they …

Atlanta – Elder protection, medical ID theft measures pass

Online Athens

 ATLANTA — Measures to improve elder-abuse enforcement and to outlaw the theft of a medical identity passed in the Georgia House on Thursday. House Bill 78, the Elder Protection Modernization Act, passed the House unanimously and heads to the state …

LOUISIANA

New OrleansTax refunds are vulnerable to identity theft: John Gin’s MoneyWatch

NOLA.com

The new Jason Bateman comedy “Identity Thief” makes light of the issue, but real identity theft is no laughing matter. Victims are devastated by decimated bank accounts, destroyed credit scores and an intrusion on their privacy. Our growing reliance on …

SOUTH CAROLINA

Department of Revenue: 30 People Claim Identity Theft

WLTX.com

The Revenue Department’s spokesperson says the 30 cases of identity theft reported range from unusual activity in bank accounts, to noticing another individual trying to pull their credit report. “We are keeping a log of individuals who call and …

Free identity theft seminar held in connection with Consumer Protection Week

WACH

The State Department of Consumer Affairs teamed up with the South Carolina Bar, the University of South Carolina Law School and the Federal Trade Commission to offer a free identity theft seminar Wednesday. The presentation covered everything from …                                                                                                                             

Expert says credit monitoring fails to stop most identity-theft crime

Anderson Independent Mail

 COLUMBIA — A cyber-security expert told a South Carolina Senate panel Tuesday that credit monitoring and credit freezes fail to stop the vast majority of identity-theft crime. “You need to look beyond credit monitoring,” said Clarissa Cerda, executive …

Reports of identity theft rise in Beaufort County, across South Carolina

Hilton Head Island Packet

The Federal Trade Commission recently released its 2012 report, which ranked the Palmetto State 17th in cases of identity theft — an issue on the minds of many in the wake of a massive hack of the S.C. Department of Revenue. In 2011, South Carolina …

TENNESSEE

Jackson TN fighting identity theft

WCYB

Jackson – A community document shredding is being held by law enforcement officials of Jackson, Tennessee in order to combat identity theft.

NATIONAL NEWS

Woman indicted on identity theft, fraud charges

Wall Street Journal

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that indictments had been returned accusing 36-year-old Dawn Chamberlain with mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and submitting false claims to the United States. According to the indictments, Chamberlain …

Yet Again Consumers Rank Identity Theft As Top Concern

Forbes

Last week the FTC released their top 10 complaint categories for 2012. You’d be excused if you thought for a moment that someone screwed up and posted the list for 2012, or 2011, or really any year for the past 13. Identity theft has led the consumer …

Protecting the Dead From Identity Theft

AARP News

In obituaries, list the age but don’t include birth date, mother’s maiden name or other personal identifiers that could be useful to ID thieves. Omitting the person’s address also reduces the likelihood of a home burglary during the funeral (sadly …

Are you a victim of identity theft? Do you have credit report errors?  Have the credit bureaus “verified” fraudulent information and refused to delete the items from your credit reports?  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to dispute credit report errors. The credit reporting agencies must block information from appearing in your credit report that is the result of identity theft. The credit bureaus must block the information within 4 business days of receipt of an identity theft report. Federal law gives you the right to sue the credit bureaus if they fail to perform a reasonable investigation or refuse to investigate your credit report disputes. 

Contact us 24/7 to schedule a free case review at 1-800-263-9091 and ask for a free sample dispute letter.

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