New York City Identity Theft Coalition
Coordinated by South Brooklyn Legal Services
South Brooklyn Legal Services (SBLS) provides free civil legal services to low-income people throughout southern and western Brooklyn. Founded in 1968, SBLS serves a diverse population of more than 300,000 New Yorkers eligible for our services, which include direct legal representation, policy advocacy, and neighborhood-based education and training for clients and staff of community organizations. Our staff has expertise in every area of poverty law and a long and productive history of working collaboratively with community-based groups in the neighborhoods we serve, thereby increasing our impact and providing comprehensive services to our clients. The National Identity Theft Victim Assistance Project will allow us to create the New York City Identity Theft Coalition, the first initiative designed to develop a unified service response to the growing problem of identity theft in the New York metropolitan area. The Project will enable SBLS to utilize our longstanding experience addressing consumer and employment law issues and our established network of legal and community-based organizations to lead an advocacy coalition focused on identity theft issues.
The coalition 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. Although identity theft is rampant in New York City, local government agencies offer minimal services and no centralized information to guide consumers seeking help in resolving the legal, financial, and myriad other problems caused by identity theft. The coalition is seeking to address this need, focusing on the areas of identity theft most commonly reported by our clients, including employment, tax, consumer debt, domestic violence, and public benefits issues. Our coalition includes other legal services providers, community-based consumer debt assistance organizations and agencies focusing on economic development advocacy. We are expanding our coalition to incorporate more varied service providers including government agencies such as relevant law enforcement agencies and other organizations serving low-income populations at high risk for identity theft, including domestic violence survivors, elders, veterans, and immigrant workers.
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