The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA or FACT Act) is designed to reduce the risk of consumer fraud and identity theft created by the improper disposal of consumer information. The law’s provisions require businesses to adopt procedures for the secure destruction of consumer reports and the information derived from them.
While the act specifically mentions many of the above individuals, FACTA also applies to every individual or business entity subject to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) jurisdiction, which expands its inclusion to virtually every person and every business in the United States.
According to the FACTA Disposal Rule, consumer information that has outlived its lifecycle must be properly destroyed prior to disposal.
Everything. The improper disposal of consumer reports by individuals and businesses has been cited in numerous fraud incidents. Identity thieves will regularly “dumpster dive” to find the personally identifiable information (PII) and financial records of unsuspecting individuals in order to steal their identity and make fraudulent purchases.
In fact, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014 alone.
FACTA was created to mitigate the above risks by ensuring that businesses and individuals properly destroy all consumer records prior to disposing of them.
FACTA provides for substantial civil liability. In some cases, consumers may be entitled to recover the actual damages sustained as a result of the violation. In other cases, each consumer affected may be able to recover statutory damages of up to $1,000.
Where large numbers of consumers are affected, they may be able to bring class action lawsuits seeking potentially massive statutory damages. Courts are also authorized to award punitive damages in either an individual suit or a class action. Finally, a successful plaintiff, or class of plaintiffs, may recover reasonable attorneys’ fees.
In some violation cases, the federal government can bring an action in federal district court for up to $2,500 in penalties for each independent violation of the rule. The states are also authorized to bring actions on behalf of their residents and, in appropriate cases, may recover up to $1,000 for each willful or negligent violation of the rule.
Organizations within every industry, and of every size, can benefit from Access’ secure records destruction solutions.