New Tools Help Identity Theft Victims Fight Back and Recover

What's Hot


Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

7 Foods That Can Lengthen Your LifeFamily

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

7 Government Freebies You Can Get TodayFamily

It's not a question of if but when you will become a victim of identity theft, officials warn as they offer consumers more help to ease the pain.

Identity theft victims can fight back with new tools from the Federal Trade Commission’s one-stop IdentityTheft.gov website, agency officials say.

The upgraded website, integrated with the FTC’s consumer complaint system, allows a victim to rapidly file an identity theft complaint and get a personalized recovery guide streamlining the many steps involved, officials say. Easy-to-use tools help victims create the documents they need to alert police, credit bureaus, the IRS and others.

“The FTC’s new IdentityTheft.gov website empowers consumers to fight back faster and more effectively against identity thieves,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said.

In 2015, the FTC said, the agency received over 490,000 consumer complaints about identity theft, a 47 percent increase over the previous year. The Department of Justice estimates that 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014.

“As most Americans know, we live in an age when it’s not a matter of if but when you will become a victim of identity theft,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “The FTC’s website is a great place for consumers to go for practical and personalized help to recover from the financial mess created by identity theft.”

The updated website walks consumers through a simplified step-by-step checklist tailored to the specific type of identity thefts they are facing.

The FTC's Identity Theft website offers easy-to-use tools to help victims. FTC PhotoThe FTC’s Identity Theft website offers easy-to-use tools to help victims. FTC Photo

When a consumer uses IdentityTheft.gov, the site will automatically generate affidavits and pre-fill letters and forms to be sent to credit bureaus, businesses, police, debt collectors and the IRS, officials said. If a consumer’s recovery runs into obstacles, the site will suggest alternative approaches. Once a consumer completes an initial report on the site, he or she will receive follow-up emails and can return to a personalized online plan to continue the recovery process.

President Barack Obama in October 2014 directed federal agencies to create a consolidated site with essential information for consumers. An initial version was launched in May 2015 with checklists for consumers based on certain types of identity theft. The FTC also provides materials on its website for consumers, businesses and law enforcement on how to prevent identity theft and remain vigilant for other scams.

What’s your experience with identity fraud crimes and recovery? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: The World’s Worst Passwords (Is Yours One of Them?)

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,881 more deals!