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Blogged By: 
Nat Wood, Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education
Created on February 1, 2016

Identity TheftWhy is it your business if identity theft victims can get free personal recovery plans and other help that makes it easier for them to report and recover from identity theft?  Here’s an answer: Because it’s good business – for you, your customers, your employees, and your community.

Identity theft affects millions of people each year. You might see its telltale signs when a customer calls about an unauthorized charge, the IRS contacts you about a suspicious tax form, or an employee is upset, distracted, and spending lots of time on the phone.  However it shows itself, identity theft can be financially and emotionally draining, and take time and energy for victims to resolve. Wouldn’t it be better if they could be using that time and energy helping your business grow?  That’s why an announcement today from the Federal Trade Commission is a big deal, and a good deal, for your business.

The FTC has added new features to, the government’s one-stop resource for reporting and recovering from identity theft. When people use the website to report identity theft, they’ll get help including a free, interactive personal recovery plan that:


  • walks them through each recovery step;

  • tracks their recovery progress and adapts to their changing situation; and

  • pre-fills letters and forms they need to help resolve the identity theft with credit bureaus, businesses, debt collectors, and the IRS.

The entire website is available in Spanish, too, at

What can your business do to help? Spread the news about

  • Tell employees about Perhaps send a company-wide email with the short video below about the site. You might also want to consider naming a trusted member of your HR team to talk to employees about ID theft prevention.

  • Publicize to your customers. Many businesses have a protocol in place for working with consumers who call about unauthorized charges or unapproved accounts. Consider adding the simple step of mentioning Your business can be part of the solution, and change a distraught consumer into a loyal customer.

  • Talk about identity theft prevention and recovery in your community. Everyone knows someone who has been the victim of ID theft. That’s why identity theft prevention and recovery can be a perfect pet project for your industry association or community group.
  • Give away something for nothing! We have free bookmarks that you can share with employees, customers, and at community events. Use them to spread the word.

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