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Free Credit report, Identity Theft Survey Report 2003 - Most important action that would have helped



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Credit Report and Score<br>Related Legal Information  

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Identity Theft Survey Report 2003 - Most important action that would have helped.

· When asked what could have been done to help fix the problems victims experienced as a result of Identity Theft, the action most frequently cited by victims who spent at least 10 hours of their time resolving problems was to improve the investigation by law enforcement after the crime had been committed. Specific proposals mentioned included a stronger commitment to catching the thief or thieves, better follow-up and communication with the victim, and increased assistance from local law enforcement. On a related note, victims also recommended stiffer penalties for offenders.
· Many victims thought better awareness on their own part of how to prevent and respond to identity theft would have been most helpful. Specific areas where greater awareness was cited included taking greater security precautions in handling their personal information, such as destroying materials that contain personal information instead of simply putting them in the trash, not placing personal information on the Internet, and securing their personal information in their homes and at work. Maintaining greater vigilance, such as monitoring their mail, billing cycles, and Credit Reports more carefully was also cited. Lastly, knowing who to contact, and notifying the affected companies and Credit Reporting agencies more quickly when they detected something wrong, was identified as an important factor in recovering from identity theft.
· Other victims mentioned things financial institutions could do to detect and prevent the crime. Respondents cited improved authentication measures, such as photographs on credit cards and more thorough identification procedures by employees during credit transactions. Respondents also mentioned financial institutions, including Credit Reporting agencies, making greater efforts to monitor their account activity and notify them when unusual transactions occurred.
· Many respondents thought that improved follow-up and assistance by the financial community as they attempted to repair their records would help. Specific proposals included making the recovery process easier by reducing the number of documents the victim had to sign, and listening to the victim and treating them with more understanding and less suspicion.
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