If you are a victim of identity theft, it is very important to get information as quickly as possible in regard to how your identity has wrongfully been used in order to begin the process of fixing the problem.  This is why the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires companies to provide victims of identity theft with all applications and business transaction records for fraudulent transactions made using your name within thirty days of your requesting this information.  Unfortunately, Kohl’s Department Stores failed to provide this information to victims of identity theft at Kohl’s when requested by many people.  In response, the Federal Trade Commission brought a legal action against Kohl’s to compel them to provide that information to identity theft victims at Kohl’s.  This was the first time that the FTC had used this authority granted to it in the FCRA to compel the release of such information.  Kohl’s recently settled the lawsuit with the FTC and is now providing that information to all victims of identity theft at a Kohl’s store in a timely fashion.  Kohl’s is also putting a notice on its website explaining how to expeditiously obtain this information if you are a victim of identity theft.  Finally, Kohl’s agreed to pay a $220,000 penalty to the FTC.

TIPS

Identity theft can cause you serious problems.  The first step in correcting the problems is determining where your identity has been fraudulently used.  Obtaining free copies of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion is where you should start looking for indications of where your identity has been used.  Here is the link to go to get your free credit reports. https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action   Victims of identity theft get their credit reports for free and during the Coronavirus pandemic, the three major credit reporting agencies have agreed to provide a free credit report weekly to anyone who requests it until April of 2021.

If you are a victim of identity theft the steps you must take to fix the problem depend on how and where the identity theft occurred.  The first thing you should do is go to the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the section entitled “If you are a victim of identity theft” in the middle of the opening page of http://www.scamicide.com for step by step instructions as to what you need to do.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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