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Phoenix, Arizona

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Even more identity theft information

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Some banks and consumer agencies are quickly realizing that identity theft fraud in Arizona presents a huge problem. It appears that some organizations are taking steps to help consumers who have become victims. For example, in today’s Arizona Republic, I read a story about Glendale based Credit Union West which has provided consumer victims of identity theft with some assistance and resources to help them recover their identity.

According to this article, consumer victims can expect that Credit Union West, which has partnered up with an organization known as “Identity Theft 911″ , to assist with placing a fraud alert on credit reports, contacting police, filing a fraud complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, monitoring credit and other important tasks in case a criminal steals their identiy. These efforts are commendable and I am happy to see this credit union taking identity theft concerns seriously. I should mention that these efforts after-the-fact, while commendable, should not be considered a substitute for a company’s obligation to minimize identity theft risk by securing and locking down private confidential consumer information. Companies must have a policy in place ensuring the highest level of protection for sensitive data. Too often such policies about confidential data are simply non-existent and suggestions about protection only appear after it is too late. So while corporations are suggesting tools to assist victims, I hope that the best corporate tool is to prevent consumers from becoming victims in the first place.