Archive for Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Consumers should be protected

October 1, 2008

Identity theft continues to be a serious problem for Kansans — as well as many people across the country. In an effort to help people victimized by identity theft, I created the Kansas Identity Theft Repair Kit. It is an educational brochure aimed at preventing identity theft and repairing the damage it causes.

Identity theft can be crippling to its victims, both financially and emotionally. The road to recovery can be complicated and time consuming. The Identity Theft Repair Kit offers consumers who are victims of identity theft a step-by-step guide to repairing their credit. The goal is to simplify the process in order to speed up recovery.

This new repair kit also reviews a consumer’s rights and liabilities under Kansas and federal laws and offers tips for protecting personal information in the future. It gives consumers prevention tips and a road map for minimizing damage to their identity and credit. The new brochure describes the signs of identity theft and tips to combat fraud.

It is always important to educate consumers about fraudulent schemes and provide them with the tools needed to prevent fraud. My office issues consumer alerts when new scams are reported to increase awareness and prevent victimization. Once a citizen is victimized, we also do everything we can to help her/him recover from identity theft and repair her/his credit history.

Identity theft occurs when someone steals personal information and uses it to commit financial fraud or other crimes. Personal information includes someone’s name, address, driver’s license number, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, birth date, bank account, credit card, or PIN number.

Since taking office, I have focused on improving consumer protection in Kansas and increasing consumer education. The Identity Theft Repair Kit is the latest in our effort to protect Kansas consumers and help them recover from victimization.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, immediately contact your local police department to file a police report. This will document the crime and help in the recovery process. Kansans should also contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division online at www.ksag.org or by phone at (800) 432-2310.

Kansans can also download the repair kit online at: www.ksag.org/files/shared/ID%20Theft%20Repair%20Kit.pdf.

— Steve Six is Kansas Attorney General.

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