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Most ID theft victims don't know their rights, the FTC says

Consumer Reports News: March 13, 2012 02:38 PM

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The Federal Trade Commission released the results of a survey this week outlining the experiences of identity theft victims who called consumer reporting agencies to report the incident.

The FTC report found that prior to calling a consumer-reporting agency, less than half of survey responders were aware of the majority of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.

The FCRA and FACT protect your rights if you are a victim if ID theft by enabling you to put fraud alerts on your credit report with the consumer reporting agencies, get a free credit report from the three national consumer reporting agencies when placing a fraud alert, block fraudulent information from appearing in your credit report, and receive a notice of these and other rights from the consumer reporting agencies.

The FTC report also found that some complained about feeling pressured to buy additional ID theft monitoring products. We've said before that you don't necessarily have to pay good money in order to protect yourself against ID theft.

For tips and advice about how best to guard against identity theft check out our report on several ways to secure your identity. For more see our Consumer Reports guide to online security, which includes software Ratings (available to subscribers).

Identity theft again tops annual list of consumer complaints
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