As many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Identity thieves may drain their accounts, damage their credit, and even endanger their medical treatment. The cost to businesses – left with unpaid bills racked up by scam artists – can be staggering, too.
The “Red Flags” Rule, in effect since January 1, 2008, requires many businesses and organizations to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect the warning signs – or “red flags” – of identity theft in their day-to-day operations, take steps to prevent the crime, and mitigate the damage it inflicts. By identifying red flags in advance, they will be better equipped to spot suspicious patterns when they arise and take steps to prevent a red flag from escalating into a costly episode of identity theft.
The Red Flags Rule is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal bank regulatory agencies, and the National Credit Union Administration. If you work for a bank, federally chartered credit union, or savings and loan, check with your federal regulatory agency for guidance. Otherwise, this booklet has tips for determining if you are covered by the Rule and guidance for designing your Identity Theft Prevention Program. Click here for more info!