David Lazarus, a columnist that writes for the L.A. Times, recently wrote about his own experience with Identity Theft that occurred 15 years ago but still plagues him today. A copy of his article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sept. 4, 2012, is at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/la-fi-lazarus-20120904,0,3447151,full.column. It’s a familiar tale with victims of identity theft, unfortunately. It’s a good read to understand why it is important to check your own consumer credit reports at least once each year, which you can do for free, and look for any accounts listed that you did not open or on which you are not an account holder.
There are steps you can take too that if done soon enough can prevent many problems that can result with identity theft. If that is a problem for you, we have more information on identity theft on our website, www.celcwi.com.
Good news. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, part of the U.S. Department of Treasury, reports after a recent study that conscientious automobile dealer staff and finance companies are helping to reduce fraudulent vehicle loans obtained through identity theft. Although suspected cases of identity theft are on the rise since 2004, fraudulent auto loans due to identity theft appear to be declining significantly. The SCE and attributes the significant decline to the new Red Flag Rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to deal with identity theft. The study notes that credit card fraud continues to be the biggest problem in terms of identity theft crimes. The full report is available at www.fincen.gov/news_room/nr/html/20101015.html, and it is titled "Identity Theft-Trends, Patterns, and Typologies Reported in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Filed by Depository Institutions."