The Main Purpose Of FACTA
FACTA (Fair and Accurate Transaction Act) was formulated to prevent the risk of identity theft and consumer fraud. The law is aimed at protecting consumer information from businesses; any consumer information must be handled properly by any business owner or company. Individuals from different professions are governed by the FACTA rules, this includes; landlords, employers, automobile dealer, government agencies debt collectors, attorneys, mortgage brokers, and many more other sectors. Even though FACTA mention some few sectors, but generally speaking they affect any individual and any industry in the United States as along they’re under the Federal Trade Commission.
FACTA- What You Need To Know
According to FACTA regulations any consumer information must destroy before disposal. All files should not be read or reconstructed. These include;
* You should erase and destroy any form of digital media; this includes both microfilms and electronic data.
* You should hire destruction provider that can deal with any media and files.
Most identity theft cases deal with improper disposal of reports by businesses, it’s cited in a lot of fraud activities. Thieves and scammers use consumer reports and financial records to conduct fraud activities. Research shows that about 17.6 million American have been victims of identity theft. FACTA ensures that the risk of identity theft is reduced by making sure that all consumer records are destroyed prior to disposal.
How Violations Can Affect Your Business?
FACTA offers civil liability; in most cases, consumers can recover for damages done due to the violation. Consumers affected can get about $1000 damages cost. In situations where masses are affected, they can claim mass statutory damages. The court can also order punitive damages to class action or individual suit. The federal government can charge a fine of up to $2500 as a penalty for the violation of any rule. States can also claim charges on behalf of its residents and that could be up to $1000 per violation.
How Debit And Credit Card Number Are Protected By FACTA
According to FACTA rules, it is considered illegal for any company to print more than 5 digits of your credit or debit card numbers. Any company that violates this rule is subject to a fine of $100-$1000. A lot of companies have suffered massive fine due to a violation of this rule, some companies have been closed because of this type of violation.
Are There Any Exceptions?
In a case where electronic means aren’t available, like power shortage or unavailability of network and the business have to write the numbers with hand or imprint at the point of sale, there nothing wrong with that.
The Red Flag Rule
FACTA requires that these 3 agencies work together; Federal Trade Commission, Federal Banking Agencies, and the National Credit Union Administration. These agencies must work together to form regulations that will prevent identity theft activities within the country. Here are some of the red flags;
* If there is address discrepancies, users must respond to it.
* Financial institutions offering credit or debit cards must verify whether a change of address is valid or not and should do that as fast as possible.
* Financial institutions must have a program that prevents identity theft.
Identity Theft – Knowing Your Rights
All the three credit bureaus are required by the federal trade commission to print rights of consumers that are a victim of identity theft. You can find this information at identitytheft.gov official website to get a comprehensive guide of those who have been affected. If you don’t want to join the statistics of the victims you should definitely visit the site to get full details.
Some FACTA Amendments
* When you reported a fraud alert you are entitled to receive free credit reports within twelve months, you can only receive 2 free copies within this period.
* All merchant receipts should only contain the last 4 digits of your card, and no company is allowed to mail all your social security numbers.
* Credit reports must be properly destroyed.
* Identity theft victims have the right to get copies of loan and credit application frauds made with their names.
* All financial and lending institutions should agree that red flags are potential signs of fraud, such as reactivating old credit account, credit card replacement and other red flags that are listed by FACTA.
There are a lot of amendments that were made recently; individuals and businesses should update themselves with these new amendments. FACTA is created to protect your rights and credit reports; you should know your rights when it comes to the consumer report. Don’t allow any company to mishandle your personal and financial information the wrong way. If you believe your rights have been violated, you should then make the appropriate claim.
Just like the Truth In Lending Act, if you’re a victim of identity theft or you believe a company has mishandled your personal data visit our law firm to see how we can help you.