Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

Identity Theft: Help from the Information Desk

It is Reference Awareness Month. Here is more important information found by the reference staff at Thomas Ford.

The Federal Trade Commission has joined with the Public Library Association to make several publications easily available to American consumers for the purpose of fighting identity theft. The first of these refers to child identity theft, the crime of adults using the personal information of innocent minors to commit fraud. In most cases, a criminal has stolen social security numbers or other personal information from non-related children to get a job, secure a loan, or apply for government benefits. In a few cases, parents with bad credit attempt to use their children’s information to “start over” financial. In either case, a crime is committed. Sadly, the crimes are often never discovered until the child becomes an adult and is flagged as having bad credit. The FTC describes the crime and how to protect children in Safeguarding Your Child’s Future.

It is still more common for adults to be the victims of identity theft. When discovered, victims need to contact the major credit reporting companies to place initial fraud alerts, order credit reports from the same companies, and work with local police to create identity theft reports. How to do this is covered in Taking Charge: What to Do If Your Identity is Stolen. The booklet, which can be printed or read online, also informs victims how to deal with credit card companies, banks, debt collectors, and utilities after id theft.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office also helps citizens prevent and recover from identity theft. Help can be requested quickly by calling the Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630 or 1-877-844-5461 (TTY). A collection of useful forms and fact sheets may be found on the Illinois Identity Theft Hotline web page. – Rick

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This entry was posted on October 25, 2012 by in Reference.
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