Idaho Coalition Against Identity Theft
Coordinated by Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.
Identity theft is a growing problem in Idaho. In 2010, the Consumer Sentinel Network (a secure online database of millions of consumer complaints available to law enforcement) received 729 identity theft reports from Idaho. This number was double the 361 Idaho identity theft complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2002. Seniors are often vulnerable to identity theft. For example, Idaho Legal Aid’s Senior Hotline attorney, Sunrise Ayers, assisted a senior whose name and Social Security number were stolen by a family member to fraudulently obtain a student loan in the senior’s name. Another senior called for assistance after she discovered that her caregiver had stolen checks and signed the senior’s name to fraudulently deplete her funds. These crimes impact the senior’s ability to provide for basic necessities such as rent, food, and medicine; can negatively impact the senior’s credit; and can cause severe distress and even health problems.
The Coalition’s continuing goal is to increase senior awareness about identity theft in Idaho communities to aid in prevention and earlier detection of identity theft in our state. The Coalition is also facilitating Continuing Legal Education classes to train Idaho attorneys on combating identity theft and ensure availability of high quality legal advocacy for victims of identity theft. Finally, the Coalition is coordinating services among community agencies, businesses, and organizations to promote information sharing, development of best practices, and a more unified approach to addressing identity theft in Idaho.
Coalition membership includes businesses, non-profits, agencies, and organizations that: work with seniors age 55 and up, work in law enforcement, work with victims, provide financial education, work in consumer protection, and otherwise have an interest in protecting Idaho’s seniors from identity theft. If you are interested in joining the Coalition and are committed to helping create a lasting identity theft Coalition in Idaho, please contact Sunrise Ayers at: sunriseayers-at-idaholelalaid-dot-org.
About the agency which coordinates the coalition: Idaho Legal Aid Services (ILAS) is a statewide non-profit law firm that has provided free civil legal services to low-income Idahoans for more than 40 years. ILAS provides legal assistance through its’ seven regional and two satellite offices as well as through two statewide attorney-staffed toll-free advice lines. The majority of clients served are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, abused and neglected children, seniors, veterans, homeowners facing wrongful foreclosure, persons with disabilities and others with critical legal needs. ILAS’s website is www.idaholegalaid.org.
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