NORFOLK, Va., Jan. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In November 2010, Portfolio Recovery Associates (Nasdaq:PRAA), a financial and business services company, became the first debt buyer to offer a TransUnion fraud assistance service to victims of identity theft. Now in its third year, this unique program has helped more than a thousand people resolve identity theft and fraud issues.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Many people first learn of the identity theft when they are contacted by a debt collector about an overdue debt they didn't incur.
To help address this serious problem, PRA contracts with TransUnion to offer an individualized service to assist victims of fraud and identity theft. PRA pays all associated costs to provide consumers with a dedicated specialist from TransUnion's Fraud Victim Assistance Department, who will contact financial institutions and credit bureaus on their behalf to resolve any fraudulent accounts. TransUnion's specialists also instruct consumers to complete all the paperwork associated with fraud and identity theft including police reports and credit bureau notifications.This service is offered entirely free of charge to PRA customers once they are determined to be potential victims of fraud or identity theft. Neal Stern, executive vice president and chief operations officer for PRA, said, "Identity theft is one of the most stressful and painful things that can happen to a consumer. When we identify someone who has been victimized, we go above and beyond to help. We began offering this service through TransUnion two years ago to help people navigate the time-consuming process of restoring their identity. We're pleased with the program's success so far, and we look forward to continuing to help consumers resolve fraud and identity theft associated with their financial accounts."