Protecting Your Credit from Identity Theft
In today’s computerized world, identity theft is a concern for everyone. If you have ever had your identity stolen and had to deal with the aftermath, you know why. The federal government has stepped in to help with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act). Many of its provisions took effect in December 2004. This important new law gives more protection against identity theft and new standards for credit reporting.
You will be able to request one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the following credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. These reports will be available on a state-by-state basis throughout 2005. You can get information about the availability of credit reports in your area by contacting annualcreditreport.com.
Under the new law, you can make just one telephone call to a single credit bureau to place a fraud alert on your credit record and improve the security of your credit rating. Once you have placed a fraud alert on your credit record, anyone who uses your credit report is required to take additional measures to confirm your identity before opening an account.
Another protection in FACT is that not more than the last five digits of your credit-card number will be printed on electronic receipts.
The FACT Act also contains new standards for information sharing and credit reporting. This includes making federal law governing credit reporting override inconsistent state laws and establishing new limits on sharing medical information and the use of customer information among affiliated companies. For more information about the FACT Act, please refer to www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
E.K. Riley has adopted an Identity Theft Prevention Program (the “Program”) in order to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations, also known as the “Red Flag Rules”, implementing Section 114 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. E.K. Riley maintains the Program to minimize the risk of identity theft for clients of advisors through the identification and escalation of identity theft red flags and through the protection of confidential client information. E.K. Riley home office associates and their supervisors must be familiar with the Program and be alert to specific identity theft risks that may be associated with their business activities. Home office associates must also be diligent in their efforts to maintain the security and confidentiality of client information and to escalate any known or suspected cases of identity theft as provided in the Program.
The key components of the Program include policies and procedures designed to: Identify relevant patterns, practices and specific forms of activity that are red flags signaling possible identity theft and incorporate ____those red flags into the Program;