The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given financial institutions and creditors a further three months – until August 1, 2009 – to comply with the so-called “red flags rule” which requires them to develop and implement written identity theft programs. This is the second time the FTC has delayed enforcement of the new rules which were originally slated to take effect November 1, 2008. For entities that have a low risk of identity theft, such as businesses that know their customers personally, the FTC also said it will soon release a template to help them comply with the law. The red flags rule requires financial institutions and creditors with covered accounts to implement prevention programs to identify, detect and respond to patterns, practices or specific activities that could indicate ID theft. During 2007, the FTC received 813,899 consumer fraud and identity theft complaints, an increase of 21 percent over 2006. The new rules stem from the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Check out I.I.I. info on ID Theft.