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Extension > Local Extension Offices > Scott > County Personal Finance Educator > Articles > New Tool Available to Report and Recover from Identity Theft

New Tool Available to Report and Recover from Identity Theft

According to the Department of Justice, 17.6 million people were identity theft victims in 2014. That represents 7% of the U.S. population. The Federal Trade Commission received nearly half a million complaints in 2015.

Identity thieves can use your information to get credit, steal your tax refund, or even get medical care in your name. And the crime can take an emotional toll on victims. Some examples of how thieves use your information include: opening credit cards, opening utility accounts, filing a tax refund, getting a loan, applying for employment or even getting medical care.

Here are some ways that victims are impacted: denial of credit/loans, denial of public benefits, denial of medical care, harassment by debt collectors, lawsuits, stress/anxiety, embarrassment, time/expenses spent on recovery steps.

IdentityTheft.gov makes it easier to report and recover from identity theft. When you use IdentityTheft.gov to report a problem, the site will ask you specific questions about your situation, and then use the information you provide to build your personal recovery plan.

The free features on https://IdentityTheft.gov provide a new level of personalization and assistance for victims. You are now able to create an identity theft affidavit that you can review and update at any time, get customized pre-filled letters to send to credit bureaus, businesses, and debt collectors, return anytime to update your plan and track your progress and get advice about what to do if you’re affected by specific data breaches.

This one-minute video shows how you can use the site to report and recovery from identity theft:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7UJ6oScjvU

Adapted from https://identitytheft.gov

Contacts

Shawna Thompson
Extension Educator, Financial Capability
(952) 466-5317
shawnaft@umn.edu
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