By coming to this web site page, you have probably already become a “Victim of Identity Theft”. If not you, maybe a family member, neighbor, friend, co-worker or business colleague has.
Now what do you do?
By now you are over-whelmed with what has happened. First your in shock, then you try to figure out how it happen, then you get angry. You cannot understand how somehow could do this to you. You have no idea of what direction you need to go to clear up the problem. This is why?
For the fifth year in a row, identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission's list of most-reported frauds, the agency announced Tuesday (Feb 1,2005). The number of complaints about ID theft jumped 15 percent from the previous year, the agency said -- and represent about 40 percent of all consumer complaints.
The FTC concluded that 40 million adults (A/O 12/31/04) had been victimized by some form of ID theft in the past six years. Victims spend between 30 and 800 hours cleaning up the problem, depending on how severe the theft is (one credit card stolen or your whole wallet, the agency said.
ID theft can be extremely lucrative for criminals, the survey found, who can walk away with over $10,000 per victim when they manage a full-blown identity theft.
Despite consumers' increased willingness to share information with the Federal Trade Commission, many still aren't telling law enforcement agencies about their crimes. About 61 percent told the FTC they didn't complain to a local police department. Another 8 percent went to police, but did not get a police report. That is 28 Million Victims of “ID Theft” that never hit the police blotters. That's important because several consumer rights are only available to those who obtain police reports which confirm the incident.
Less than two (2 %) of all “Identity Thieves” are ever caught and convicted. So the best protection is not avoidance, but prevention. Recent reports suggest that a new “ID Theft Victim” occurs in Texas every 8 minutes. Texas is now number two (2) in victims behind California.
Didn't 9/11 teach us what can be done when stolen credit cards, ID’s, and drivers licenses are in the hands of criminals and terrorist. Each terrorist came into the U.S. with at least 5 different fake personas (2004-U.S. Congressional 9/11 Report).
Here is one prevention step that is available but not used. Most, if not all, credit and debit cards have a four digit password code available for ATM Withdrawals/Cash Advances (these codes have been used since 1975-BankAmeriCard was the first). These codes could be used on gas pumps (First place Identity Thieves Test the stolen card).
We will provide education and the latest updates for protecting yourself from, "IDENTITY THEFT, AMERICA'S NEW EPIDEMIC". We will bring problem solving solutions for both consumers and businesses and how to combat the nations No. 1 White-Collar Crime wave.
How much have these losses affected the country's economic recovery? How many businesses have closed due to ID Theft? Just ask gas station owners. If, as a consumer, you had to pay two or three times for the same item, how long would you be able to survive.
Everyone pays for "ID Theft", not just businesses.
Look at some of the stories that has happened over the last two years. Stories that refer to companies like "Choice Point" and "DSW Retail Stores" have consistently under estimated the number of victims that has had their "Identities Stolen" through their organizations. There has been over fourteen major break-ins of companies data files that supposely were being protected just in the last six months.
Over twenty different states have enacted or proposed major "Identity Theft Legislation" to try and combat the "Nations No. 1 Crime".
Please contact www.consumerunion.org to see the latest information on what states are active and which ones are not on "Identity Theft Solutions".
As a consumer and a business owner, your voice must be heard both in your state houses and in Washington.
"THE TIME HAS COME THAT WE MUST NO LONGER ACCEPT THE "DOG & PONY SHOW IN WASHINGTON, WE MUST NOT JUST ASK FOR LAW CHANGES, WE MUST DEMAND LAW CHANGES. THESE ACTIONS MUST BE TAKEN NOW, NOT LATER ON 'IDENTITY THEFT".
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