• United States



FTC Might Pay ChoicePoint Victims for Lost Time

Dec 13, 20062 mins
Data and Information Security

The Federal Trade Commission, as promised last month, has started accepting claims forms from individuals whose identities were stolen as a result of the massive ChoicePoint breach (our original coverage here:

The commission has $5 million to compensate an estimated 800 people whose identities were stolen as a result of the breach, and one of the many questions that has bogged down the process is what expenses, exactly, the FTC will cover. With the form, mailed to likely victims and also posted at the FTC’s website, we start to get our first answers.

Expenses that may be reimbursed include:

* notary fees

* photocopies

* postage

* telephone calls

* hourly fees for Internet access

* cabfare or mileage to meet with creditors or straighten out accounts

* fees paid to an attorney, private investigator or accountant

* cost for copies of credit report

* unauthorized charges on your existing accounts NOT covered by bank or credit card company

* money paid on new accounts opened in your name

Interestingly, the FTC is also asking victims to estimate the amount of time they’ve spent dealing with identity theft. According to the form:

The FTC is considering the feasibility of providing additional money to victims to compensate them for their time spent in dealing with this identity theft. Please indicate the number of hours you have spent on the claim form at Item #3.

It’ll be interesting to see how the numbers turn out. Claim forms are due Feb. 7, 2007.

-Sarah Scalet