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June 14th, 2009

FAQs To Help Agencies Protect Your Identity



Six federal agencies issued a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Thursday to help financial institutions, creditors, users of consumer reports, and card issuers to better comply with Federal identity theft regulations. The “Red Flags and Address Discrepancy Rules,” enacted on November 9, 2007, were designed for financial institutions and creditors to develop written identity theft programs. The FAQs are designed to aid in the understanding and implementation of those rules.

What does this mean for consumers? Well, it means the agencies and companies that have access to your financial information should be better suited to protect it from unwanted sources.

The rules specifically address change of address requests. Scammers contact agencies who posses your financial records to submit a change in address request in order to gain access to your information: (From the FAQs)

The fact that a card issuer received a change of address notice from the US Postal Service is not sufficient to satisfy the validation requirements of the Card Issuers’ Rules. A card issuer that receives a notice of a change of address from the postal system regarding a cardholder’s address, and, within at least 30 days, a request for an additional or replacement card, may not issue the card unless it has validated the cardholder’s address using one of the procedures set forth in the Card Issuers’ Rules.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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