At the time this book was first drafted, no financial or other institution was known to offer customer assistance programs for customers who became victims of identity theft. Since then, and only in recent months, the nation’s largest banking institution, CitiCorp, launched its identity theft customer call center. As of this writing, Citi is blanketing the market with thoughtful and eye-catching identity theft advertisements.

The author spent some time at CitiCorp’s New York headquarters consulting on its identity theft program. I evaluated Citi’s customer call center protocol, reviewed the impressive Citi Tool Kit of helpful information for victims, and taped interviews for satellite announcements of Citi’s identity theft program. All businesses, regardless of size, type, or location, could follow Citi’s progressive lead, because identity theft is here to stay. But to be successful, not all programs must be as elaborate as Citi’s.

This chapter lays out a simple, inexpensive, and easy-to-implement eight-step customer security program that has a proven track record of success. The program is based on practices developed in the Identity Theft Lab at Michigan State University (MSU). The program evolved, since 1999, from experiences working with hundreds of identity theft victims and their families. These victims include company employees, corporate officers, college students, parents of younger children whose identities were stolen, young ...

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