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Saving Yourself or Your Business from Identity Theft

About 10 million Americans fall prey to the crime of identity theft every year, to thieves who deplete their accounts through purchases of many different things. The end result is always an individual with a damaged credit and huge debt.

Though the Internet is able to make communication and the exchange of information so much faster, it has also been instrumental in crimes as scam artists are able to use it to accomplish their crimes with more ease and speed.

Identity theft, which is a major threat to many individuals and businesses, refers to the illegal acquisition and use of someone else’s personal information for economic gain. More than $50 billion in losses from as many as 10 million working Americans are recorded every year; almost the same sum spent by US firms in thwarting attempts of identity thieves from gaining (unauthorized) access to their files and data banks.

Battling identity theft requires companies, especially those possessing information about personal and business accounts, to come up with a serious and solid program that will enable them to easily and immediately detect and stop this crime. To step up the fight against this illegal activity, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) was enacted by the New Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce the conduction of an Identity Theft Prevention Course (ITPC) to business firms. The ITPC is designed to train employees assigned in handing consumer information in red flag rules.

The Red Flags Rule is a warning sign intended to help businesses recognize, minimize and prevent damages caused by identity theft. It forms part of the FTC-required Identity Theft Prevention program, which is a set of printed guidelines which financial institutions and creditors (with covered accounts) ought to execute. Covered accounts, on the other hand, refer to consumer accounts that allow payments or transactions; examples of these accounts are checking accounts, savings accounts, credit card account, mortgage loan and automobile loan. Through this red flags rule, companies are expected to see through the patterns and tactics employed by identity thieves in the performance of their crime.

Being charged with committing identity theft, which is one type of white collar crime, is a serious offense and can result to damaging effects to the individual’s or business’ reputation and future. Thus, being represented by a Westchester criminal defense lawyer would be a greatly helpful to avoid conviction.

Rick Coleman+