Here, you’ll find downloadable training materials, meant to help your coalition members and other professionals in the community develop basic knowledge as well as further their expertise in assisting victims through recovery.
Identity Theft Training for Advocates & Allied Professionals
A crucial step in improving your community’s response to victims of identity theft is to raise the level of expertise in professionals who come into contact with this victim population. Use the materials below to gain a solid footing in understanding how to help identity theft victims.
OVC’s Identity Theft Victim Assistance Online Training: Supporting Victims’ Financial and Emotional Recovery – OVC’s Identity Theft Victim Assistance Online Training: Supporting Victims’ Financial and Emotional Recovery is a user-friendly e-learning tool to 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.
This 40 hour, intensive, interactive training features:
- A wealth of information about the various types of identity theft, laws that support victims’ rights, as well as referral agency and resource information to better serve victims of identity theft.
- Engaging case studies to provide victim advocates with opportunities to interact with victims of identity theft through the path to recovery.
- Online availability 24/7; save and return later to complete at your leisure
Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Video – This ten-minute video features advice from FTC leaders, law enforcement, and victims on how to deter, detect, and defend against identity theft.
Guide to Assisting Victims of Identity Theft – This guide was developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help attorneys and victim service providers chart their way through and resolve legal problems that pro bono clients may have following the theft of their identity. The guide explains:
- common types of identity theft
- the impact of identity theft on clients
- the tools available for restoring victims to their pre-crime status.
Specifically, the Guide highlights the rights and remedies available to identity theft victims under federal laws, most notably:
- the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)
- the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA).
It also includes information and materials published by other organizations that address less other forms of identity theft, such as medical or employment related identity theft.
Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and a roundtable of other groups including NITVAN joined forces to develop Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud.
When fraud occurs, victims are left to cope with the aftermath of compromised identities, damaged credit, and financial loss, and a painful range of emotions including anger, fear, and frustration. This guide gives victim advocates a roadmap for how to respond in the wake of a financial crime, from determining the type of fraud to reporting it to the proper authorities. The guide also includes case management tools for advocates, starting with setting reasonable expectations of recovery and managing the emotional fallout of financial fraud. Our hope is that this guide will empower victim advocates, law enforcement, regulators, and a wide range of community professionals to capably assist financial victims with rebuilding their lives.
The guide includes a section specifically on identity theft and can be ordered, in large or small quantities, free of charge here.
Developing Expertise to Teach Others: Train-the-Trainer Course
This is an in-depth training course meant to be completed over the course of a full day session. The course includes an agenda, power point slides, handouts, evaluation form, and detailed speaker notes. It was developed and deployed over the course of several years by the national training team at NITVAN, with the feedback and ongoing additions from NITVAN coalitions around the country.
Sample Training Agenda
- Several elements may be considered in the development of your agenda:
- Inviting a well-respected leader on the issue to give opening remarks can help set the tone for the day.
- In one instance, a NITVAN coalition involved a retired Assistant Attorney General and host of a consumer fraud related radio show popular with seniors in the region.
- In another instance, a NITVAN coalition invited police chief who had – in the previous months – spoken out in the media when his own identity had been stolen.
- Inviting a panel of local experts on issues related to identity theft – such as in the example below – can help ensure the community is actively involved and excited about the training event and able to add their expertise to the table.
- Once the training has occurred, facilitating a “next steps” type discussion can help focus the group – while the energy and excitement is high – on tackling the problem, forming a multidisciplinary effort, and going forth to train providers and allied professionals in the community.
Training Slides with Speaker Notes
Course Evaluation Forms
- A course evaluation can provide valuable information, including what the professionals in your community need next including subject matter specific trainings and support from each other.
Handouts For Attendees
- Sentinel FTC 2010 IDT National Stats [PDF]
- Steps for Victims [DOC]
- What is a Fraud Alert [DOC]
- Sample State Laws to Handout [PDF]
- Chart Your Course of Action [PDF]
- Debt Collector Communications Concerning ID Theft (FCRA 615 (g)) [DOC]
- ID Theft Victim Statement of Rights [PDF]
- Medical ID Theft – World Privacy Forum [DOC]
- DOJ The NCIC ID Theft File [PDF]
FTC’s Guidebook Sections to Provide as Resources
- FTC’s Guidebook Primary Tools for Victims [PDF]
- FTC’s IDT Victim’s Complaint and Affidavit [PDF]
- FTC’s Memorandum to Police [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook Free Credit Reports [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook for Assisting ID Victims Blocking Info [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook Disputing Errors with 611 and 623 [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook Obtaining Bus. Records [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook Debt Collectors [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook Credit Card Obligations [PDF]
- FTC’s Facts for Consumers Medical ID Theft [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook IRS [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook SSA [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook and Student Loans [PDF]
- FTC’s Guidebook ATM & Debit Card [PDF]
- FTC Guide to Assisting – Obraining Copies of Credit Reports [PDF]
Developing Training and Facilitation Skills
The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center’s website is rich with resources and downloadable manuals and presentations for professionals facilitating coalition meetings and training events.
The Trainer’s Toolbox can help you plan your upcoming training and includes:
- Icebreaker and introductory activities related to victim service
- Closing activities
- Techniques for dividing groups and for selecting a recorder and reporter
- Tips for using audiovisual aids
- Activities to engage members and gather feedback
- Checklists to prepare
Training For Law Enforcement Officers
You can improve the experience victims face in recovering from identity theft crimes by training law enforcement officers in your community on the crime, its scope, their legal obligations to victims, and victim assistance resources.
Resources for customizing training materials to your community:
- Most states have laws requiring law enforcement agencies to take a police report of identity theft and provide a copy of that report to the victim. To become familiar with any obligations your area’s law enforcement agencies may be bound by, so that you can incorporate this knowledge into your community training programs, click on your state on NITVAN’s Resource Map.
- The Federal Trade Commission’s ID theft database statistics can be found at www.ftc.gov/sentinel. When customizing law enforcement training programs for your community, you may want to include data specific to your state, to give attendees an understanding of the scope of the problem. You might also want to use the training to encourage your local law enforcement agencies to become members of the Sentinel program which helps law enforcement to identify crime trends and patterns.
- The International Association of Chiefs of Police has a website called ID Safety designed to help consumers and law enforcement combat identity crimes. On the site you will find information tailored for law enforcement including: Identity Crime: An Overview, Prevention, Victim Assistance, Investigation and Resource Sharing.
Survey of Law Enforcement Response, Challenges and Resource Needs
Building a case in response to reports of financial crime and identity theft presents many challenges for local law enforcement agencies. Many of these crimes are not prosecuted, yet victims still need assistance and support.
To better understanding the extent of this type of victimization, the needs of law enforcement, and the ways in which the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and criminal justice professionals can improve the response given to these victims, OJP conducted a survey of law enforcement agencies in Minnesota.
The findings and recommendations may provide interesting insights and ideas on training, support, and collaboration needs for law enforcement agencies across the nation.
Training for Domestic Violence Advocates
In many cases, domestic violence perpetrators use identity theft against their victims and/or their victims’ children as a method of power and control. In fact, in a survey of domestic violence advocates, conducted by the Minnesota Identity Theft Coalition, 92% reported that they’d assisted clients whose family members or intimate partners used identity theft to perpetrate their abuse. In many of these cases, the abuser used credit cards, bank accounts, or other financial accounts to ruin the victim’s credit, or used the victim’s personal information to damage their reputation or cause them further harassment, for example on online social networking sites. Although DV advocates might not typically label these crimes as ‘identity theft,’ upon surveying these professionals, it becomes obvious that they are assisting many clients with identity theft issues and would benefit from specific training on how to help these clients.
NITVAN Webinar on The Use of Identity Theft by Domestic Violence Perpetrators
In this webinar, speakers Erika A. Sussman, the Executive Director of the Center for Survivor Agency and Justice, Sara Shoener, Project Manager of the Consumer Rights for Domestic Violence Survivors Initiative at CSAJ, and Deirdre Keys, the coordinator of the Minnesota Identity Theft Coalition discuss the use of identity theft by domestic violence perpetrators as a method of power and control.
This training was developed by the Minnesota Identity Theft Coalition. The presentation seeks to:
- Define identity theft and forms of identity theft.
- Make the Connection between identity theft and domestic violence
- Understand the impact of the crime on victims of identity theft.
- Identify the initial and long-term steps in assisting victims in recovery after an identity theft.
The Consumer Rights for Domestic Violence Survivors Initiative (CRDVSI) is a national project that seeks to enhance consumer rights for domestic violence survivors by building the capacity of and building collaborative partnerships between domestic violence and consumer lawyers and advocates. CRDVSI offers technical assistance to lawyers and advocates across the nation through:
Resources from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Financial Education for Survivors Program: http://www.ncadv.org/programs/FinancialEducation.php
- Protecting Your Identity for Survivors: http://www.ncadv.org/protectyourself/ProtectingYourIdentity.php
Resources from the National Network to End Domestic Violence
- Identity Theft: A Summary of Resources for Domestic Violence Survivors
- Understanding Financial Abuse: A Summary of Resources for Domestic Violence Survivors
- NNEDV’s Economic Justice Project works to strengthen victim advocates’ financial capabilities to better assist survivors of domestic violence move from short-term safety to long-term security, and to an economically sustainable independent life. NNEDV’s Economic Justice Project employs its signature “train-the-trainer” approach to deliver financial literacy lessons to victim advocates across the U.S. NNEDV’s Economic Justice Project also uses its exclusive listservs and newsletter to inform victim advocates about personal finance tools, resources, and the most recent research available in the field of financial literacy and capability.
Training For Mental Health Providers
The goal of this curriculum, developed by the Texas Identity Theft Coalition, is to introduce participants to the basics of Identity Theft, how Identity Theft can influence the mental health of its victims, how to strengthen resilience in Identity Theft victims, and how to identify when referral to professional mental health providers may be appropriate. Module Five, specifically for professional mental health providers, is to apply current, evidence-based trauma therapy practice specifically to Identity Theft victims.
Module 1: Identity Theft 101
Provides a basic primer on identity theft in two lessons, Understanding Identity Theft and Assisting Victims.
- Action Plan For Victims Of Identity Theft [PDF]
- Module 1 Instructions [DOC]
- Module 1 Power Point [PPT]
Module 2: The Emotional Impact of Identity Theft
Introduces common reactions to identity theft in two lessons, Common Reactions to Identity Theft and Variations in Victim Reactions.
- Common Reactions Brochure [PUB]
- Module_2_Emotional Impact Of Identity Theft [DOC]
- Module_2_Emotional Impact Of Identity Theft [PPT]
Module 3: Strengthening Resilience in Identity Theft Victims
Introduces five traits of resilience along with strategies advocates can use to help identity theft victims build resilience.
- Brochure [PUB]
- Module_3_Power Point_Strengthening Resilience [PPT]
- Module_3_Strengthening Resilience [DOC]
Module 4: Screening and Referring Identity Theft Victims to Professional Therapy
Describes the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder distinguishing these symptoms from natural trauma reaction and provides suggestions for making professional referrals.
- Module_4_Mental Health Therapist Survey [DOC]
- Module_4_Referring To Professional Therapy [DOC]
- Module_4_Referring To Professional Therapy [PPT]
Module 5: Tips for Professional Therapists Serving Identity Theft Clients
Applies current evidence-based trauma therapy skills to the mental health needs of Identity Theft victims in five lessons, Introduction to Trauma, Physical and Emotional Safety Strategies, Self-Regulation Strategies, Social Support Strategies, and Processing the Trauma Strategies
Training for Seniors & Senior Service Providers
Recovering from identity theft can be especially difficult for older victims who have retired from the workplace and are, therefore, living on a fixed income. Without future employment earnings to pay off debt and meet daily needs, many senior victims face a grim recovery from victimization and can be particularly in need of assistance. Several of the NITVAN coalitions have focused attention specifically on this issue.
- Spanish Language Version Presentation Targeted to a Senior Audience [PPT]
- English Language Version Presentation Targeted to a Senior Audience [PPT]
- Presentation to Professionals at Adult Abuse Training Institute [PPT]
- Presentation to Professionals at Aging Concerns Unite Us Conference [PPT]
- Presentation by Finger Lakes IDT Coalition [PPT]
“Older people are often fearful of stepping forward when they discover they have been victimized because of the fear of being labeled incompetent. Through the coalition we hope to de-stigmatize victimization so that older adults can get the help they deserve to recover what has been taken from them.”
— Carlos Rodriguez, retired New York Assistant Attorney General and Finger Lakes Identity Theft Coalition chair
Training for Financial Professionals
Training for Professionals Working with Children
A child’s personal information may be particularly appealing to an identity thief because often many years may pass before the crime is detected. Also, a child’s information may be readily available to many people – in the school system, in the foster care system, or to family members.
Sample Efforts & Materials
Several NITVAN coalitions have worked to improve conditions for victims of child identity theft, increase awareness and train professionals and the public on this issue. Examples are below, with links to the coalition pages. Contact the coalition coordinators with your questions about how you can implement these projects in your state.
- The Wisconsin Identity Theft Coalition used webinar trainings to reach child welfare workers throughout the state, provided outreach on the issue to the community, and made themselves available as a resource for caseworkers dealing with particularly challenging cases of child identity theft.
- The Idaho Coalition Against Identity Theft developed training curriculum, featured below, to train a foster care workers, foster care children and parents, and child court appointed advocates. The coalition partnered with and included in its membership the Casey Family Foundation, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and school systems across the state. As part of this effort, a packet for foster children was developed and the coalition proposed policy changes to the legislature.
- Offered a supportive network to the Department of Human Services, in their design of a plan and resource list for foster care workers accessing credit reports for youth prior to their aging out of the system. A taskforce was formed. The taskforce designed a plan that included step-by-step instructions for case workers, technicians, GAL’s, and foster and kinship parents. Credit Reporting Bureaus, Law Enforcement, and other key players were contacted in the design of the plan. All departments throughout the state, including supervisors, teams, and departments were trained.
- Provided training at the statewide Foster and Kinship Parent Conference
- Trained court personnel including GAL’s, Court Appointed Special Advocates, judges, and magistrates
- Hosted brown bag ‘lunch and learns’ within high schools for teachers and counseling staff
- Formed law enforcement partnerships, to encourage complete review of a minor’s history – beyond credit checks alone – to include review of medical and criminal records
- Developed a state specific Guide to Child Identity Theft
NITVAN Webinar on Identity Theft and Children in the Foster Care System
Youth in the foster care system transitioning to adulthood may face a steep climb to overcome problematic family histories, graduate from high school, and learn to obtain financial security as they age out of the system. Imagine this burden multiplied when a young person discovers that her identity has been stolen by a family member, stranger, or even a trusted foster care worker. How will she apply for college loans, obtain an apartment, phone, utility service, or buy a functioning car to travel to and from a job? How can advocates and allied professionals help assist this young person in overcoming the risk of homelessness, poverty, and further victimization?
“Identity Theft and Children in Foster Care,” is a webinar hosted by the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network. Speakers include Steven Toporoff of FTC, Joanna Crane, Identity Theft Expert, and a panel of coalition coordinators including Anne Gargano-Ahmed, who coordinates the Wisconsin Identity Theft Coalition, Hazel Heckers, who coordinates the Identity Theft Advocacy Network of Colorado, and Sunrise Ayers, who coordinates the Idaho Coalition Against Identity Theft. The three panelists will discuss their coalitions’ initiatives to train foster care parents and workers to detect identity theft and assist the young victims before they age out of the system.
Guide on Protecting Foster Children’s Identities
The Federal Trade Commission, in collaboration with Child Focus, Inc. and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, have released a guide on protecting foster children’s identities. The overarching goals of the guide are youth empowerment: using this opportunity to help young people understand what credit is, why it’s important to their future financial stability, and how bad credit can derail their goals. It also gives adults some tools to help kids if their identity has been stolen, particularly because the effects can be both financial and emotional.
FTC Guide for Parents
The FTC’s “Safeguarding Your Child’s Future – Child Identity Theft” is a guide for parents of child identity theft victims. It includes to-do lists, contact information, blank forms and the Uniform Minor’s Status Declaration which can be used to correct problems resulting from child identity theft. An organization can also order free copies of the publication in bulk.
Professional Forum on Child Identity Theft
The FTC and the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) held a forum to discuss child identity theft. Government, business, non-profit, legal service providers, and victim advocates explored the nature of child identity theft, including foster care identity theft and identity theft within families, with the goal of advising parents and victims on how to prevent the crime and how to resolve child identity theft problems. Watch the webcast of Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft.
Protecting Children’s Information at School
For more information on how to protect children’s identity within schools and an explanation of rights under the federal Family Educational Rights Privacy Act, visit Protecting Your Child’s Personal Information at School available from the Federal Trade Commission.
Training for Spanish Speaking Audiences
The most recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report on identity theft found that over a million and a half Hispanic victims over the age of 16 exist in the United States. Consider partnering with organizations in your community that serve Hispanic populations and using the presentation here to reach this population.
- ROBO DE IDENTIDAD (Identity Theft Power Point Presentation) [PPT]
- The Federal Trade Commission’s “Robo de Identidad” website, which mirrors the English language version and includes resources, downloadable brochures, videos, and more.
Training on Medical Identity Theft
It is estimated that there exist millions of victims of medical identity theft in the United States. In fact, one-third of health care organizations, including physician practices, insurers and pharmacies, have reported catching a patient using the identity of someone else to obtain services. Learn how advocates and medical professionals can work together to help victims.
According to the World Privacy Forum, “Medical identity theft is a crime that can cause great harm to its victims. Yet despite the profound risk it carries, it is the least studied and most poorly documented of the cluster of identity theft crimes. It is also the most difficult to fix after the fact, because victims have limited rights and recourses. Medical identity theft typically leaves a trail of falsified information in medical records that can plague victims’ medical and financial lives for years.”
Webinar Available for Victim Assistance Providers, Health Care Professionals, Law Enforcement Officers, and more:
Medical Identity Theft is a webinar hosted by the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network featuring the World Privacy Forum’s Executive Director and Founder Pam Dixon. An author and a researcher, Ms. Dixon has consistently broken critical new ground in her work, researching and writing the first report to exist on medical identity theft in May 2006, identifying and bringing the topic to the public for the first time.
Training on Cyber Security and Identity Theft
Learn about the intersections between cyber crimes and identity theft from National Cyber Security Alliance’s Executive Director, Michael Kaiser on this webinar hosted by NITVAN.
Through the National Cyber Security Alliance, Mr. Kaiser engages diverse constituencies—business, government, other non-profit organizations—in NCSA’s broad public education and outreach efforts to strengthen the nation’s cyber infrastructure, including leadership of NCSA’s premier outreach and awareness campaign, National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Prior to joining NCSA, Mr. Kaiser spent 25 years in the field of victim’s services and rights.
Training on Disaster Related Identity Theft Victimization & Fraud
Unfortunately, in the aftermath and even during national disasters, scammers and identity thieves are seizing the opportunity to victimize Americans—already going through a horrific time—and are also scamming those who try to offer aid to the victims of these events. Learn what professionals can do to prevent crime and help victims recover.
Disaster Related Identity Theft Victimization & Fraud provides valuable information and resources available to national disaster victims who are experiencing identity theft and fraud.
To provide victim service professionals, legal assistance providers, first responders and other allied fields with timely information and resources to assist victims involved in national disasters who experience identity theft and fraud.
- Quickly access leaders and resources in your region via a national network of identity theft coalitions
- Model the innovations and emerging practices used recently in critical areas to improve conditions for victims of identity theft in the wake of natural and manmade disasters
- Understand how to report those who would divert – for fraudulent purposes – charitable and government funds which would otherwise go to victims in need.
- Involve and recruit pro bono attorneys to assist victims.
- Access resources online and an upcoming resource guide for disaster related service to victims.