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Reporting ID Theft

DESPITE THE growing prevalence of identity theft, many companies and individuals are still unclear about how to report it and to whom.

In addition to local law enforcement agencies, at least eight resources exist or are under development for reporting identity theft. A draft document published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police describes what they are and how they work.

Identity theft can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Clearinghouse via phone or the Web, and this information is used to populate Consumer Sentinel, a secure database available to investigators and law enforcement around the world.

Another resource is the U.S. Postal Inspection Services Financial Crimes Database. The Identity Theft Assistance Center—a consortium of 100 financial companies that will enable a victim to submit an identity theft report to just one company—is now in pilot testing. Also planned is a National Joint Identity Theft Center, sponsored by the FBI.