FTC “Red Flags” May Apply

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued regulations which require financial institutions and creditor’s to develop and implement a written plan to prevent identity theft. Part of the goal of the FTC is to have businesses detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft. The new regulations become effective August 1, 2009.

As stated by the FTC, “a creditor is any entity that regularly extends, renews or continues credit;” (FTC web site http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/alerts/alt050.shtm)

As required by the new FTC regulations, business must have a written plan to address the identity theft issues. The written plan must identify and detect warning signs for identity theft. As provided by the FTC, the warning signs may include but certainly are not limited to unusual account activity, attempted use of suspicious account application documents, notices from customers who are victims of identity theft, use of suspicious addresses, social security numbers, etc.

The primary goal for business owners is to determine whether your business is required to have a written policy. If you are required to have a written policy, now is a great time to develop and implement the policy. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.