For Victim Service Providers
The initial stage of working with identity theft victims is much like assisting victims of violent crime. Often victims of identity theft have feelings similar to victims of violent crime and can greatly benefit from utilizing the skills and knowledge you already possess.
Effective communication with the victim and sharing knowledge and referrals between victim service providers, law enforcement agencies or other organizations can dramatically reduce victim impact.
Educate yourself and your colleagues about the crime of identity theft, the different types of identity theft, current statistics and the challenges that victims often face so your agency can be prepared to work with victims of identity theft.
Helpful information to assist you in your work obligation and communicating with victims
- Available Trainings and Materials
- Our Resource Map may help you find further help for your clients, and understand which laws in your state protect victims.
- If your clients need help writing letters to creditors, debt collectors, or credit bureaus to notify them of the identity theft, online assistance is now available.
- To make identity theft network connections, join a coalition, find training, presentation material, or additional information, please contact us.
Sample Victim Guide:
Defend: Recover from Identity Theft is an online step-by-step guide from the Federal Trade Commission.
Online Training for Victim Service Providers:
OVC’s Identity Theft Victim Assistance Online Training: Supporting Victims’ Financial and Emotional Recovery is a user-friendly e-learning tool that will teach victim service professionals and allied professionals knowledge and skills to more effectively serve victims of identity theft and assist with their financial and emotional recovery.
Identity Theft Resource Center – The ITRC’s web site is dedicated exclusively to ID theft. It is an award-winning website that attracts more than one million visitors yearly and has victim-focused fact sheets that cover many identity theft situations.
Deter, Detect, Defend from the Federal Trade Commission: On this web site, consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft – and learn what to do if their identity is stolen. Businesses can learn how to help their customers deal with identity theft, as well as how to prevent problems in the first place. Law enforcement can get resources and learn how to help victims of identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission also operates an Identity Theft Clearinghouse. Its phone assistance line is (877) IDTHEFT (Spanish-speaking counselors available).
The Get Help sections of our website will assist victims with existing account fraud, new account fraud, criminal identity theft, medical identity theft, business identity theft, employment identity theft, theft of a Senior’s identity, theft of a child’s identity and Domestic Violence victims and identity theft.
Phone numbers and web sites of credit reporting agencies:
|P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
|P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
|P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Identity Theft Research:
Research from Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victim Victimization Survey Supplement, Victims of Identity Theft 2008. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Around 12 million or 5 percent of Americans over the age of 16 became identity theft victims in the two year period ending in June 2008.Financial identity theft is only part of the overall picture; over 600,000 victims experienced other types of identity theft, including:
- Criminal identity theft—providing another person’s name during an arrest;
- Medical identity theft—using the medical benefits of another to secure services;
- Employment identity theft—using a Social Security number of another to obtain employment;
- Family/Intergenerational identity theft—the perpetrator exploits his/her ready access to information pertaining to family members—domestic violence survivors, children, and the elderly may be particularly vulnerable; and
- Benefit fraud—using another’s identity to secure government supported benefits such as public assistance, housing subsidies, veterans’ benefits, etc.
The recovery process that identity theft 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.
- Statement of Rights for Identity Theft Victims
- Taking Charge: What to Do If Your Identity Is Stolen
- Guide for Assisting Identity Theft Victims
- State Legal Definition of Victim
- ID Theft Presentation