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FTC revamps website to help victims of identity theft

Online users receive free personalized recovery plan

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PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The Federal Trade Commission said it's making a major move toward helping victims of identity theft.

On Thursday, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez announced changes to the federal regulatory agency's website aimed at helping identity theft victims mitigate the damage.

The Call Christina team participated in the nationwide announcement via teleconference call.

"Recovering your identity could take months, even years to recover financially and emotionally," Ramirez said. "This [website] will make it much easier and faster for people to recover their identity."

With the FTC's recent revamp of identitytheft.gov, they now have the ability to create a "personalized recovery plan," where victims can describe their particular case in detail, and the FTC can inform you on all the steps you need to take to recover your identity—for free.

Available in both English and Spanish, victims will be asked a series of online questions to tailor a plan to their needs. After the plan is formed, the website will give you a step-by-step list on what needs to be done, including prefilled forms and letters that can be sent to specific agencies to speed your recovery.

In addition to submitting your case on the website, it will then be in a database with over 2,000 federal, state and local partnerships that can further help you with your case.

This was implemented due to over 490,000 reports on identity fraud in 2015, which is a 47 percent increase than the year before.

Ramirez said a police report should still be made, but the website is a "perfect starting point" to make sure all the correct motions are made to recover your identity.

Ramirez said because the FTC doesn't ask for case-sensitive information, such as your social security number or driver license numbers, online identity hackers would not be able to tamper with your case.

RELATED LINK: Preventing identity theft, what to do if you've been victimized