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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Identity Protection During the Government Shutdown

Oct 09

government role in identity protection
Regardless of whether you feel it on a day-to-day basis, the government shutdown is impacting you. Maybe you aren’t planning a trip to the Statue of Liberty or Yellowstone National Park, which are both currently closed, but you probably are planning to eat dinner. (As part of the shutdown, the US Food and Drug Administration is closed.) And what about the government services related to the unplanned events in our lives? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is normally the first stop for victims of identity theft, but its virtual doors are shuttered too.

Scammers and thieves could take advantage of the government shutdown to find their next victims of identity theft. The FTC may be closed, but you still don’t have to fall prey. Here’s how to protect yourself from identity theft during the government shutdown.

Be on High Alert

As always, be careful when you receive an unsolicited call or email from someone trying to get personal information for you. If someone calls you in search of information, ask questions to get a grasp of whether or not their claim is legitimate. Don’t click on links in emails purporting to direct you to the login page of your banking, credit card, or utility institution. When in doubt, go directly to the web address you’ve always used.

Pick Low-Hanging Fruit

One way the government shutdown is affecting identity protection is by closing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which means that filing an Identity Theft Affidavit (an important part of the recovery process) will be delayed. So, while you’re a little extra vulnerable to the damages of identity theft, be sure to do the easy stuff to protect your identity.

Start the Process

And, if you think you’re the victim of identity theft, don’t let the inability to contact the FTC delay your identity’s restoration. Three of the first four steps to take when you’re the victim of identity theft can be done without contacting the federal government. Get started reviewing your credit report and filing a police report right away. The longer you wait, the more damage can be done.

Finish Strong

When the government reopens for business, remember to tie up loose ends related to your case of identity theft. Complete an Identity Theft Affidavit and report scams to the FTC. For additional privacy, add your name to the Do Not Call Registry, which is currently closed as part of the government shutdown.


This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc.  © 2013, Inc.  All rights reserved.

5 Comments Add your comment

  1. tracy collins
    Oct 29 at 16:38

    I am glad that there’s a company out there called Protect my ID because we the people them to help keep our id information safe from identity thieves.


  2. ome
    Nov 07 at 04:08

    Identity theft is first a problem because we rely on numerical identifiers that attach humans to credit and a variety of services. Once a criminal gets hold of those identifiers, he can simply be you.


  3. Juan
    Jan 06 at 04:33

    ALERT! I am a subscriber and received my monthly alert that my credit was not compromised only to find out later it in fact was. Why do I have this service again?!


    Becky Reply:


    We are glad you do have ProtectMyID. ProtectMyID monitors for more than 50 leading indicators of identity theft and alerts you to changes. Without knowing the specifics of your situation, we cannot go into more details. If you have questions, please contact customer care at 1-866-751-1323.


  4. Sharon
    Jan 17 at 12:05

    My credit card was hacked through Target. Thank goodness the hacker was stopped at $500 by my credit card’s monitoring service within 2 hours. Monitoring service is a must for everyone using credit cards.


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