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1 The National Center for Victims of Crime is pleased to provide the slides used in our December 14, 2013 Webinar, Taking Action for Identity Theft Victims. Please be advised that these materials are provided through the generosity of our presenter faculty. All copyright laws apply to the proper use and crediting of these materials.

2 Taking Action: Assisting Victims of National Center for Victims of Crime Webinar December 14, 2013 Identity Theft

3 PRESENTERS Merry O Brien Project Director, National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Hazel Heckers Victim Advocate, CO Bureau of Investigation, ID Theft/Fraud Investigation Unit Coordinator, ID Theft Advocacy Network of CO 3

4 Assisting Victims of ID Theft: Objectives I. Understand the impact of IDT on victims II. III. Identify potential needs of victims & understand basic steps involved in addressing needs of IDT victims Find out how to learn more: access indepth training tools, a national network of IDT coalitions & online materials 4

5 Part I The Crime: What is Identity Theft and What Impact Does the Crime Have on Victims?

6 Not As Simple As One Might Think Criminal Identity Theft Medical Identity Theft Child Identity Theft Senior Identity Theft Identity Theft Related to Governmental Processes (tax, social security administration, social services) Domestic Violence Related Identity Theft

7 At first you think it is just a simple billing error. Then you realize that it is much more than that. Someone has been using your child s ID for medical treatment. Not only am I getting bills for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but my doctor says that operations, pregnancies, substance abuse treatment even an extended stay in an in-patient mental health hospital are all showing up on my child s medical history. And he is only 5 years old! How can this happen? And what happens if we get in a car accident or something and I can t tell them in the emergency room? Will they treat him properly? Or will this ID theft kill my baby? Mother of an ID Theft Victim

8 Consequences of Identity Theft: 1. False Arrest 2. Denial of credit 3. Increased rates and financial charges 4. Loss of employment 5. Inability to get a job 6. Bankruptcy 7. Loss of money associated with repairs 8. Missed opportunities (housing, employment, education)

9 What Does the Data Tell Us? 11.7 million (5%) in the US, experienced IDT in 2-yr period. Total financial cost nearly $17.3 billion over a 2-yr period. Recovering victims spent an average of $1,870 in out-ofpocket 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. *Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victim Victimization Survey Supplement, Victims of Identity Theft

10 How Does ID Theft Affect Victims? 53% of ID theft victims feel moderate to severe distress from the identity theft. Why did this happen to me? Anger/Frustration Vulnerable/Violated Helpless/Stressed Depressed Suicidal Langton, L. & Planty, M. (2010). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victim Victimization Survey Supplement, Victims of Identity Theft 2008.

11 ID Theft is Not a Victimless Crime 29% of victims of violent crime found experience severely distressing 20% of victims of IDT found experience severely distressing Percent 40 Moderately distressing Severely distressing Total ID theft Credit card Banking New account Personal information Total violence Aggravated assault Simple assault

12 I travel for my business. Now that this has happened, I have turned down jobs out of state because I m afraid I might still be on a No Fly List and end up in prison. The police told me the person using my ID has made terrorist threats against the President. That is really scary! ID Theft Victim

13 Trauma Response Shame and embarrassment Reluctance to report Fear Unsure of how to report Overwhelmed Fear of recurrence Anxiety Feelings of paranoia Confusion & disbelief Challenges in relationships, divorce Loss of trust Alteration of Lifestyle and prior life responses Spiritual Questioning

14 No Justice For Me Most frequent complaint: Victims feel they receive no sense of justice for the crimes perpetrated against them Report repeatedly violated, often by same person, yet no arrest Not only does perpetrator go free, but is also free to commit the crime again and again Law Enforcement, Victim Advocates and the system often part of the problem rather than a support

15 PART II: THE RESPONSE

16 Advocacy Skills LISTEN You may be the first person to listen to what the victim is experiencing and feeling BLAME the perpetrator A lot of well meaning people blame the victim NORMALIZE feelings Explaining that many victims of these crimes feel this way

17 Assess Extent of Crime One type of identity theft may indicate other forms Is crime limited to one state? Is crime on-going? Is victim able to act on own behalf to correct damage?

18 Knowledgeable Victim Advocate Key It is VITAL that the victim advocate helping the victim assess the ID theft is knowledgeable and has access to information needed for a complete assessment of damage What may seem critical to some (like correcting credit histories) may not be the most pressing issue to address

19 Some of What May Be Involved Criminal History (state/nation) Driving Records Employment History Warrants DOC Records Liens or other court actions IRS & State Dept. of Revenue Actions Property Vehicles Addresses Known Relatives & Associates Insurance Claims DL/Mug Shot Photos Social Media Information Credit Headers, Financial Inquiries Student Loans Birth & Death Records Social Security Number Confirmation Inquiries Medical Records

20 BASIC STRATEGY Stop impostor activity Report the crime Repair the damage Prepare for re-victimization

21 First Steps Report Crime to Law Enforcement Close Accounts Complete FTC Affidavit (optional-but helpful) Report Fraudulent Bank Accounts Segregate Medical Records Initiate Criminal/Driving Records Challenge Dept. Homeland Security, ICE or TSA Challenges Dispute Fraudulent Wages Complete IRS paperwork

22 First Steps Notify Agencies Involved (State Dept, Utilities, DMV, SSA, Vital Records, Dept. Education) Place Fraud Alert or Freeze w/cras Begin Dispute Process for Credit Repair Respond to any collections actions Correct Court Records (for bankruptcy, etc.) Vacate Warrants Remove foreclosures from history

23 First Steps Correct military histories & school records Correct Fraudulent Child Support Actions Report Mail Theft Notify Benefits Programs Remove or Shut Down Fraudulent Internet & Social Networking Sites Replace Documents

24 Tips for Victim Advocates Remind victims to maintain copies of ALL paperwork associated with case in a secure, easily accessible location Encourage questions & clarification Encourage victims to keep detailed notes about contacts Documentation is vital

25 Tips for Victim Advocates Helping victims of IDT takes time & requires working with many organizations and agencies Access Experts if you do not know what you are doing, you will create more work for the victims Work Collaboratively

26 PART III Resources to Learn More & Collaborate

27 Office for Victims of Crime funding created national network of 10 coalitions which build field s capacity to address IDT victims rights & needs. IdentityTheftNetwork.org Twitter.com/IDTheftNetwork Facebook.com/IdentityTheftNetwork

28 Goals & Activities of the Coalitions Awareness: Community outreach/awareness campaigns Professional Education: training of service professionals Systems-Change: improved inter-agency infrastructure, coordination, referrals

29

30 Access to Topic-Specific Trainings & National Experts

31 Printable Outreach Material Brochures Website Material PSA Scripts & Audio & Visual Samples Quick Tip Sheets Ready-To-Use Forms Sample MOU s Training Slides, Instructor Manuals, Worksheets 31

32 Clickable Identity Theft Map State Victim Resources (numbers, links) Security Freeze Law & State-Specific How To s Mandatory Police Report Law for IDT Victims ID Theft Passport Law Inclusion in state s restitution definitions Related Laws including Civil Suits, Access Devices, Computer Crimes, Security Breaches

33 Automated Letter Writing Assistance 33

34 National Center for Victims of Crime & FINRA Investor Education Foundation

35 Office for Victims of Crime Online Interactive Training

36 Federal Trade Commission Videos, Pamphlets, Website Material 36

37 Questions? This presentation was produced in part by the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network under award # 2010-VF-GX- K030, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. 37

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