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WASHINGTON – The Federal Trade Commission has asked the public to comment on a proposed rule under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act defining identity theft, identity theft reports, the duration of active duty alerts, and proof of identity necessary to block or make changes. The FACT Act allows deployed military personnel to place an alert on their credit report, for which FTC is proposing a minimum 12 month duration. Military personnel on extended deployments may request another active duty alert when the first expires. The new law also allows consumers to request that credit bureaus truncate their Social Security number on their credit report. Comments on these rules are due by June 15. To prevent abuse of identity theft reports, the FTC has proposed that consumers describe the identity theft as specifically as possible and allow credit bureaus or creditors to request reasonable additional information or documentation. The FACT Act amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s identity theft victims’ new rights to place “fraud alerts” on their credit reports and work with creditors and credit bureaus to block negative information resulting from identity theft. FTC’s Federal Register notice also addresses what constitutes “appropriate proof of identity” to block a fraudulent trade line, place or remove a fraud alert, or obtain a file disclosure containing a truncated Social Security number. The proposal would require credit bureaus to come up with “reasonable requirements” to ensure that consumers are matched with their files and to adjust what information is requested to prevent identifiable risks of harm. The FTC suggests using full name, full address, full Social Security number, and/or date of birth, and for additional proof of identity, copies of government-issued identification documents, utility bills, and other methods such like questions to which only the consumer would know the answer.

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