Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Deter, Detect and Defend - Identify Theft Prevention

The National Association of Realtors®(NAR) and the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) have formed a partnership to prevent identity theft. The program, “Deter, Detect and Defend,” aims to educate consumers, particularly homebuyers, about the devastating effects of identity theft and help them protect themselves against that crime.

NAR President Thomas M. Stevens made the announcement with FTC Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras at the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. “People’s dreams of home ownership can be dashed in an instant if their identity is stolen,” said Stevens, senior vice president of NRT Inc., from Vienna, Va. “As America’s leading advocate for home ownership, NAR is arming our 1.2 million Realtor® members with information they need to help their clients deter, detect and defend against identity theft – it’s just one more way that Realtors® can add value to the real estate transaction.”

As part of the campaign, NAR is distributing consumer education brochures and DVDs to Realtors® across the country through its more than 1,400 local and state associations. Information and resources are also available at

Because the home buying process invariably involves sharing a certain amount of personal information with third parties, home buyers are at risk and should be particularly cautious. Buyers who provide personal information online to be referred to a network of mortgage lenders or real estate professionals are, in effect, authorizing the owners of that site to sell their information to third parties. “Realtors® play a critical role in the fight against identity theft,” said Stevens. “Consumers should always be careful when sharing financial or other personal information, whether in person, on the phone, or over the Internet. When searching for a home online, we recommend that people use only sites from a trusted source, such as [
our RE/MAX and Lawrence Yerkes web sites]. Working together with renters, buyers and sellers, Realtors® can help their clients open the door to their next home while locking out identity thieves.”

Click here for more about what you can do to Deter, Detect and Defend yourself against Identify Theft.

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