Every year about 9 million Americans end up as victims of identity thieves, who deplete their accounts and damage their credit, while leaving them with huge debts from purchases of things they have never even seen. Scam artists have been a threat to many businesses and individuals for so long, and since the dawn of the Internet plus the immense business and personal information contained in it, the con crime has just gotten faster and much easier to accomplish.
According to the website of Peter J. Berman, Ltd., identity theft refers to the wrongful acquisition and use of another person’s personal data, usually for economic gain. It remains a serious concern for corporations and consumers alike. About $50 billion in losses from more than 10 million individual adults are recorded every year; almost the same cost is spent by business firms in the US just to prevent identity thieves from hacking their files and data banks.
The fight against identity theft, especially by companies handling information about personal and business accounts (thieves’ most common targets), requires a serious program that will enable these same companies (and others of their like) to detect and prevent this crime. To help companies in this endeavor, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), through the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), has required business firms to conduct an Identity Theft Prevention Course, which will simultaneously train employees managing consumer information in red flag rules.
The Red Flags Rule refers to warning signs that will help businesses identify, prevent and lessen the damages caused by identity theft. It is part of the Identity Theft Prevention program (required by the FTC), which is a written set of guidelines that creditors and financial institutions with covered accounts should implement. By covered accounts, what is referred to is a consumer account that involves or permits payments or transactions, such as savings account, checking account, automobile loan, mortgage loan and credit card account. Through the red flags rule, it is hoped and expected that companies will be able to see through patterns and tactics that identity thieves employ in the performance of their crime.Read More