12 million Americans over 16 became identity theft victims in the two year period ending in 2008. Financial identity theft is only part of the picture; over 600,000 victims experienced criminal, medical, employment, interfamilial, and domestic violence related identity theft. The recovery process that victims face can be extremely challenging:
- 53% of victims feel moderate to severe distress from the identity theft.
- Recovering victims spent an average of $1,870 in out-of-pocket costs.
- Over 3 million experienced issues such as having utilities cut off, being arrested, finding erroneous claims on their health records, having child support garnished for children they never had, and being harassed by collection agencies.
The National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) seeks to expand and improve the outreach and capacity of victim service programs to better address the rights and needs of victims of identity theft nationwide by building the field’s capacity to provide a coordinated response to the problem. With assistance from the National Network, new coalitions have formed across the country. The coalitions are engaged in creating, enhancing, and delivering identity theft victim assistance training and outreach to improve the ability of the coalition members to provide direct victim assistance services.
NITVAN was launched in 2010 with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, through the Crime Victims Fund. This unique fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars.
A complete listing of all sites can be found at the “Network of Coalitions” tab on this website, and a summary of each is below. Organizations interested in learning more about coalitions forming in their areas are encouraged to contact the sites listed above for details on membership and news.
Arizona Identity Theft Coalition, coordinated by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, consists of two goal-oriented task forces operating independently to increase awareness of identity theft; to establish best practices for responding to the needs of identity theft victims; and to develop and expand victim services networks. The AITN is comprised of coalition members from Arizona government agencies, law enforcement agencies, victim services providers, legal services providers, veterans’ services and academic institutions. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Identity Theft Advocacy Network of Colorado, coordinated by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, is a statewide group of agencies, including law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, victim assistance, financial institutions, government agencies, community based agencies, and others offering in-person and web-based training opportunities and networking for coalition members and their communities. The network will publish training and victim support materials, making those available online for communities across Colorado and the nation. For more information, contact email@example.com or find the network online: www.facebook.com/IdentityTheftAdvocacyNetwork
Finger Lakes (NY) Identity Theft Coalition, coordinated by Lifespan of Greater Rochester, is a regional network of professionals & other stakeholders in 8 counties in the Finger Lakes region of NY dedicated to assisting senior victims of identity theft. The coalition has organized a systematic campaign to educate older and to enable those individuals who become victims to take appropriate legal action to recover assets, when possible, and to receive supportive services to restore a sense of safety and integrity. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Idaho Coalition Against Identity Theft, coordinated by Idaho Legal Aid Services, provides identity theft outreach and training; enhances member collaboration; and increases the number of attorneys trained to help senior victims of identity theft. Coalition members have also collaborated on the development of an online identity theft portal to be used as tools for members and the general public. For more information, contact email@example.com or find the coalition online: www.facebook.com/idahocoalitionagainstidtheft.
Minnesota Identity Theft Coalition, coordinated by Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project, focuses attention on the link between domestic violence and identity theft in Minnesota. The identity theft coalition is developing strategies to address an awareness of identity theft, and to coordinate responses to identify theft victims who are also victims of domestic violence. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or find the coalition online: www.facebook.com/pages/Minnesota-Identity-Theft-Coalition/258886077521024.
New York City Identity Theft Coalition, coordinated by South Brooklyn Legal Services, is dedicated to building a network of diverse service providers to coordinate and improve access to information and services for low-income victims of identity theft. The coalition explores identity theft related to issues of employment, tax, consumer debt, domestic violence, and public benefits issues. For more information, contact email@example.com.
South Carolina Identity Theft Network, coordinated by the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network, is developing a statewide network of referral resources for victims of identity theft, provides education to entities responding to victims of identity theft crimes, establishes a reliable mechanism to assist these previously underserved victims, and promotes public awareness. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or find the network online: www.facebook.com/SCIDTHEFTNETWORK.
Texas Identity Theft Network, coordinated by the Texas Legal Services Center, has developed training materials to inform service providers of the emotional impact of identity theft and mental health needs of identity theft victims. Network members include nonprofits, state and federal agencies, and law enforcement representatives. For more information, contact email@example.com or find the network online: www.facebook.com/pages/TX-ID-Theft-Network/191060664325906.
Washington Identity Theft Network Alliance, coordinated by the Washington Coalition of Crime Victim Advocates, addresses outreach, training, and collaboration to meet the needs of identity theft victims and the long-term responses to those victimized. The alliance develops and conducts state-specific identity theft training, is creating an identity theft outreach resource guide, and facilitates and conducts statewide identity theft outreach and education. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or find the WITNA online: http://www.facebook.com/WAIDTheftAlliance.
Wisconsin Identity Theft Network, coordinated by the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, creates, enhances, and delivers identity theft victim assistance training and outreach to improve the ability of its members to provide direct victim assistance services to victims of interfamilial identity theft. For more information, contact JohnHendrick@cwag.org or find the network online: cwagwisconsin.org/elder-law-center/wi-identity-theft-coalition.