HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is reminding consumers about a new resource to help them fight back against identity theft: www.IdentityTheftActionPlan.com, an innovative Web site designed to help citizens prevent, detect and respond to America’s fastest growing crime.
The Web site includes information on how identity theft occurs, prevention tips, steps to take if you become a victim, statistics, and information for law enforcement agencies that investigate these types of crimes.
In addition, www.IdentityTheftActionPlan.com provides a downloadable identity theft action plan to help citizens better manage their personal and financial information and be prepared to respond effectively should they become a victim.
By developing a personal identity theft action plan, citizens can document the financial institutions that issue their credit and bank cards, and the fraud reporting numbers for those businesses. It also includes information on filing a police report, filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which tracks incidents of identity theft, and filing reports for lost or stolen driver’s licenses, state-issued photo identification cards, health insurance cards, Social Security cards and passports.
According to the 2006 Identity Fraud Consumer Report:
-During 2006, nearly 8.9 million Americans, or 4 percent of the population, will become victims of identity fraud.
-The average fraud amount per victim is $6,383.
-The average out-of-pocket expense to consumers is $422.
-The average time to resolve the situation is 40 hours.
-The faster fraud is detected, the lower the fraud amount and consumer costs.
-Forty-seven percent of cases are detected by the victim and self-detection results in lower consumer costs.
-The most common way that identity theft happens is through lost or stolen wallets, checkbooks, credit/debit cards.
For more information about identity theft or to download the identity theft action plan, visit www.IdentityTheftActionPlan.com.