FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez praised the new identitytheft.gov website because millions “of Americans have been victims of identity theft, and until now, there has not been a single site where they can quickly file an official complaint and then get real, personalized help.” The January 28, 2016 FTC announcement included these comments:
For the first time, identity theft victims can now go online and get a free, personalized identity theft recovery plan as a result of significant enhancements to the Federal Trade Commission’s IdentityTheft.gov website.
The new one-stop website is integrated with the FTC’s consumer complaint system, allowing consumers who are victims of identity theft to rapidly file a complaint with the FTC and then get a personalized guide to recovery that helps streamline many of the steps involved.
The number individuals affected are significant:
In 2015, the FTC received over 490,000 consumer complaints about identity theft, representing a 47 percent increase over the prior year, and the Department of Justice estimates that 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014.
Unlikely that identity theft is going away, but the FTC’s creation of the website is step in the right direction.