Technology has done many wonderful things, but it has also increased the likelihood of identity theft. While measures have been put into place to protect consumers against identity theft, it is still an all too common occurrence.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is legislation put into effect by Congress to promote the accuracy, privacy and fairness of consumer information in credit report files. It also provides measures that protect the rights of victims of identity theft. Read on to find out how it can protect your rights if identity theft happens to you.
How Does the FCRA Protect Victims of Identity Theft?
According to the FCRA, victims of identity theft are entitled to ask for records of all transactions related to the incident. Victims can authorize law enforcement agents to get these records or they can ask a business to send the records to law enforcement agents. Once businesses get a written request for these records, they have 30 days to provide them, free of charge.
Law enforcement agents need only the victim’s authorization to obtain these records. No subpoena is required.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCRA in general and this requirement in particular, which is known as Section 609(e).
Who Must Comply with Section 609(e)?
609(e) applies to businesses that provided credit, goods, or services and engaged in a transaction with the person who allegedly committed the identity theft act. It will be up to these businesses to provide any records related to the theft.
What Documents Must Businesses Provide?
Businesses must provide any transaction records and applications associated with the theft. These include invoices, credit applications, and account statements that may have been maintained by the business itself or by a third party on their behalf.
What are the Procedures for Requesting Materials?
Victims must submit all requests in writing. Businesses may provide victims with information regarding where to send the requests. Businesses may require certain information to be included on the request such as:
- Date and account number for the transaction that led to the theft
- Proof of identity
- A police report for the case
- A completed affidavit. Victims can use the FTC’s Identity Theft Report which can be found on their web site or they can use another affidavit that the business accepts.
Businesses can deny consumers rights to their records if any of the following apply:
- They are unable to verify the identity of the person asking for the records
- The request for information is based on a misrepresentation
- The information requested is internet navigational data or similar information such as records of a person’s internet activity
Under the financial provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a business may not deny disclosure of these records. However, a business may deny disclosure if it is prohibited by a city or state law.
Protecting Your Rights in and Identity Theft Case
If you have been the victim of identity theft and you are not getting the information you need to help fight your case, call an attorney today.
If you are in the state of Louisiana, Samuel Ford of Alexander Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys is highly recommended.
The SVHC team has years of experience in the field of consumer protection. SVHC’s attorneys are dedicated and knowledgeable. Their caring approach and aggressive representation can help you resolve your consumer issues.
If you were a victim of identity theft, make sure your rights are protected. Call SVHC today.
Samuel Ford of SVHC offers free consultations and, if you have a claim, you may be able to recover all associated costs and attorney’s fees, meaning SVHC may be able to represent you at no cost to you! Contact Samuel Ford today!