Model Letter for Workplace Release
This letter may be customized per the advice of your legal counsel but should include the following information. In regards to the “department to report ID theft to,” ITRC recommends that it not be HR or personnel but rather Security, the Chief Privacy or Operations Officer, or Loss Prevention.
(Company) Employee Information – Procedures
IDENTITY THEFT - The Fastest Growing Crime in Our Nation Today
What is Identity Theft? Identity theft occurs when an imposter takes your personal data – usually your name, Social Security number (SSN), driver’s license number, address and/or birth date – and uses it for his or her own financial gain. This person may apply for telephone service, mortgages, credit cards or loans, buy merchandise, and/or lease cars or apartments. They might even use your identity to gain employment - working as you.
What is considered sensitive information? Social Security number (SSN), driver’s license number (DLN), address, date of birth (DOB), mother’s maiden name, bank account numbers, employee numbers.
(Company) would like to remind all employees that anyone can become a victim of identity theft. Here are some common sense steps that you can take at work to lower your risk and our company’s exposure to this crime.
1. Cross-shred all sensitive documents before throwing them away, especially those with personal identifying information.
2. Keep wallets and purses in locked cabinets while at work.
3. Make sure that conversations cannot be overheard when exchanging sensitive information.
4. Avoid providing sensitive information over the telephone or by email.
5. Password protect your computer. If you leave it unguarded even for a minute, close the file in which you were working.
6. Avoid placing personal mail with checks, SSN or account information in the unlocked outgoing mailbox (i.e. at the receptionist’s desk).
What should I do if I become an identity theft victim or believe I might be?
1. Assess the damage: Call the three credit reporting agencies. Place a fraud alert on your Social Security number and have them send you copies of your reports. Look them over carefully for any fraudulent activity or inaccuracies. This preliminary fraud alert only lasts 90 days so renew it before it lapses! Victims are permitted a 7-year alert with a police report.
2. Take action: Call the police where you live. They need to take a report and give you a copy. Send a copy of this report with any affidavits (letters stating the account is fraudulent) you send to creditors. Also contact the FTC to report the crime.
3. Contact the companies who have reported fraudulent accounts. Send correspondence certified, return receipt requested. Tell them this is a case of ID theft. Request copies of all application and transaction account information. Federal law requires them to comply. Ask for letters of clearance.
(Company’s) Policy about Identity Theft:
(Company) is concerned about the financial and physical well-being of its employees. If your wallet has been stolen while at work or you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, either on the job or through another way, we want to know about it.
We understand that you may need some work schedule flexibility to make phone calls and repair the damage caused by the criminal. Workplace identity theft is unavoidable but may be controlled through immediate action. Your quick notification to our company will help us assess who is putting others at risk. All reports will be treated confidentially.
Report all identity theft cases to: __________________ (not HR)
Important Victim/Consumer Resources and Internet Links
Identity Theft Resource Center - http://www.idtheftcenter.org/ ITRC is a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization specializing in identity theft and victim assistance. (858) 693-7935 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Trade Commission - www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft or 877-IDTHEFT
Credit Reporting Agency - victim contact information (reports are free)
TransUnion: 800-680-7289 Experian: 888-397-3742 Equifax: 800-525-6285
In addition: Everyone is entitled to one free annual credit report from each agency. ITRC recommends you request your reports in a staggered fashion so as to receive one every 4 months. To order your reports call: 877-322-8228.
©October 2005, Identity Theft Resource Center
PO Box 26833, San Diego CA 92196
Permission granted to companies to distribute