Advanced Identity Theft Responses: Financial Identity Theft National Center for Victims of Crime Webinar – September 10, 2014 FINRA & FINRA Foundation Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ► ► ► ► Independent, non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the public in the U.S. Protects investors and maintains market integrity in a public-private partnership with the SEC Created through consolidation of NASD and NYSE Regulation Regulation, enforcement, education FINRA Investor Education Foundation ► Awards grants and manages targeted projects focused on investor education and protection National Center for Victims of Crime ► ► ► Mission: Forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. Dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime. Through collaboration with local, state, and federal partners, the National Center: ─ Advocates for Stronger Rights, Protections, and Services for Crime Victims ─ Provides Education, Training, and Evaluation ─ Serves as a Trusted Source of Current Information on Victims' Issues Financial Crime Resource Center ► Affiliate of the National Center for Victims of Crime ► Mission: Help victims of financial crime recover their assets, and recover control of their lives ► Partner with organizations around the U.S. who work with victims of fraud, identity theft and other financial crimes to ensure that victims have access to the best possible recovery ► Advocate for fair compensation and restitution for all crime victims PRESENTERS Hazel Heckers CO Bureau of Investigation, Identity Theft/Fraud Investigation Unit ID Theft Advocacy Network of CO Merry O’Brien National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network 5 Objectives I. II. III. IV. Understand how identity theft can harm victims and the barriers faced in recovery Identify the steps to help your clients take following the financial identity theft victimization Learn to build your organization’s capacity to address the needs of identity theft victims Access advocate training tools, materials for clients, and other online resources 6 Part I: The harm identity theft can cause to victims & barriers victims face after the victimization 7 Identity Theft: A Quick Recap Identity theft is the misuse of another’s personal information to: – fraudulently obtain • goods or services • a job • medical treatment, medications, or equipment • government services or benefits – hide from government, law enforcement, or others who perform background checks Remember: Financial IDT is One of Many Types 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 How Does ID Theft Hurt Victims? • • • • • • • • • Direct financial losses, damage to credit score, reputation Dangerous medical mistakes Denial of employment, housing Reduced ability to escape a domestic violence abuser Inability for young adult to buy a car, secure an apartment, receive a student loan – gain independence Problems with IRS Civil judgments, criminal record, false arrest or detainment Emotional harm Time and cost of repairing damage 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 What Does the Data Tell Us? • 16.6 million ID theft victims in 2012; – 15.3 million – criminal misused of existing account; – 1.9 million – criminal opened a new account or other fraud • Total financial losses in 2012 = $24.7 billion • Recovering victims spent an average of $2,200 in out-of-pocket costs, average of 600 hours of recovery work. • 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, 2013 12 Not a “Victimless Crime” Over half of the victims feel moderate to severe distress from the identity theft. Langton, L. & Planty, M. (2010). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victim Victimization Survey Supplement, Victims of Identity Theft 2008. Latest Data from BJS 50 45 40 35 37 33 31 29 30 30 29 29 26 25 20 20 15 11 10 5 0 Total ID theft Credit card New account Moderately distressing PII Total violence Severely distressing Langton, L. & Planty, M. (2013). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victim Victimization Survey Supplement, Victims of Identity Theft I apologize for the vernacular, but it just sucked, what he did. As soon as I hit…college...everything went downhill when everyone’s life should be going uphill, mine sank like a stone to the bottom of the ocean. It took so long to dig out from underneath…it was always just this constant never knowing…“What shoe’s gonna drop? What bill is gonna come in the mail? Who’s gonna sue me today?”…That’s how you live your life…a state of paranoia…That sort of consumes you. And you’re also never taken seriously by anyone, so when you do speak to the police…they think you’re lying. You know, as an adult now in my early 30s, it’s not something I think of every day, but I think of what could I be doing now at 30 hadn’t this happened…my contemporaries all have jobs and nice homes. I don’t particularly have that…I didn’t have that good foundation to build upon; my foundation was already used up before I got there. “The Experiences of Adult/Child Identity Theft Victims,” Axton Betz: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3764&context=etd “Not only am I getting bills for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but 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. He is only 5! And what happens if we get in a car accident or something and I can’t tell them in the emergency room? Will this kill my baby?” -From a mother of an IDT Victim Served by CBI “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!” -From an identity theft victim helped by CBI Trauma Response • Shame and embarrassment • Reluctance to report • Fear • Unsure of how to report, overwhelmed • Fear of recurrence • Anxiety, depression, suicide • Feelings of “paranoia” • Confusion & disbelief • Challenges in relationships, divorce • Loss of trust • Alteration of Lifestyle and prior life responses • Spiritual Questioning No Justice For Me • Victims feel they receive no sense of justice for the crimes perpetrated against them • 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 • So….how can we provide a compassionate and competent response?..... RECAP: BASIC STRATEGY • • • • Stop impostor activity Report the crime Repair the damage Prepare for re-victimization Recap: Basics 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 • 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 Part II: Response & Repair Credit Reports • • • • • How to read What it shows What it does not show When to take further action Who to call for help Anatomy of a Credit Report • • • • • • Personal Information Public Records (financial) Credit History Inquiries or Credit History Requests Personal Statements/Fraud Alerts “Other” What a Credit Report Does Not Show • Credit Reports show most financial information, but do not always include: • All credit accounts (such as those opened at a “Buy Here Pay Here” car lot or a Rent to Own Shop ) • Who is using the person’s credit • Business credit opened in the person’s name • ID Theft that is not financial Repair First Steps • Obtain Credit Report from all 3 Credit Reporting Agencies(CRA) • Report to Law Enforcement (some businesses will require a police report) • Report to the FTC with the FTC ID Theft Affidavit (optional, but helpful): 877-ID-THEFT Repair • • • • • • Place Fraud Alerts Consider Credit Freeze Determine what entries are fraudulent Begin requests for corrections/blocking Respond to any collections actions Request documentation from creditors Fraud Alerts • • • • 90 days Renewable for 7 years Entitles victim to one free credit report Credit reporting agencies: • Equifax: 800-525-6285 • Experian: 888-397-3742 • TransUnion: 800-680-7289 • Creditors must take “reasonable steps” to verify one’s identity Credit Freezes • Must request in writing from each credit reporting agency • Blocks all new credit • Effective until lifted • Possible fees, if no accompanying police report or Identity Theft Report Dispute Letters • Send to all 3 CRA’s • Fraud Department of ALL creditors that are inaccurate—even if account is in good standing Dispute Letters • • • • Cover letter explaining situation Copy of Police Report Copy of FTC Affidavit (optional) Proof of ID – 2 forms of government issued ID • • • • State ID or DL SS Card Birth Certificate Verification of Guardianship status or other legal status Dispute Letters • Letters Must State: – Victim of ID Theft – Credit Report inaccurate due to ID Theft – Request inaccurate information is BLOCKED from appearing on credit report – Request verification of actions taken Sample Dispute Letters Available Access to Justice – Statewide Legal Services Websites Find your state’s here: identitytheftnetwork.org/GetHelp 33 Return Letter • Request Verification that: – Account is fraudulent and does not belong to victim – Victim is not liable for debt or account – Date account was closed – Date account was removed from all 3 CRA’s – Creditor will not sell or transfer loan under victim’s name and will not report to CRA in future Blocking • Once CRA accepts ID Theft report, it MUST – Block the fraudulent information within 4 business days – Notify business of the block and ID Theft findings Blocking • Once business is notified of block, it MUST – Stop reporting info on that account to the CRA’s – Must not sell or transfer debt for collections Obtaining Documentation • Contact Fraud Department of creditor and request all documents: – Used to open new accounts – Used to charge purchases – Details of where and when fraudulent transactions took place – Copy of any applications for credit or loans, including signatures and copies of ID’s used Obtaining Documentation • Documents must be sent AT NO COST to victim within 30 days • Law Enforcement may be able to obtain documents more quickly Repairing Other Actions • • • • Bankruptcy Investment Accounts Foreclosures Fraudulent Student Loans Debt Collectors • Tell the debt collector to stop calling as debt is due to ID Theft – Ask that the account be flagged as ID Theft being disputed • Write to the debt collector – Include all info mentioned above • Call and write to the initiating business – Include all info mentioned above Debt Collectors • Notifying debt collectors that debt is related to ID Theft may not stop civil law suits • Request mediation • Seek legal representation • Prepare documents (see obtaining documents) Document All Actions • The most important thing any victim of ID Theft or person assisting a victim of ID Theft MUST do: • DOCUMENT EVERYTHING • Keep record of all calls, letters sent, reports files • Copy everything • Send emails as follow up for phone calls so there is written documentation of conversation • Request read receipts and a response from party emailed verifying info included in your email • ALWAYS get the name and title of party speaking with • Send Certified Mail Questions? Part III: Building your organization’s capacity to address the needs of identity theft victims 44 Tips • Understand process before trying to lead victim through it • Establish contacts in community who will help – Banks and Credit Unions – Financial Advisors – Credit Card Companies – Attorneys (including “Legal Aid”) Tips • Consider Retired Volunteers – Retired Bankers – Retired Fraud Investigators – Retired Law Enforcement – Retired Prosecutors – Retired Attorneys – Retired Business Owners – Retired IRS Employees Tips • Do you have a grant that requires or allows volunteer hours as Matching Funds? • You may be able to count “specialized volunteers” at a higher dollar per hour rate • Win for your agency and Win for the victims A Word About Criminal Enterprises • Identity Theft & Fraud have been directly linked to Global Organized Crime Activities including: – Human Trafficking – Drug Trade – Terrorist Activities – Known Terrorist Organizations Questions? Part IV: Advocate training tools, materials for clients, and other online resources Advocates’ Handy Desk Guide Lawyers’ Handy Desk Guide www.consumer.ftc.gov/ articles/pdf-0119-guideassisting-id-theftvictims.pdf Resources for your Clients & Outreach Materials 53 Alerts on Latest Fraud & Scams aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork A Support Network for Professionals Helping IDT Victims IdentityTheftNetwork.org Twitter.com/IDTheftNetwork Facebook.com/IdentityTheftNetwork • Printable Outreach Material – Brochures – Website Material – PSA Scripts & Audio & Visual Samples • • • • • Quick Tip Sheets Ready-To-Use Forms Sample MOU’s Slides, Instructor Manuals, Worksheets Access to Topic-Specific Trainings & National Experts 56 Finding Your State’s Laws & Resources • 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 Online Interactive Training for Advocates Resource Round Up FTC - ftc.gov/idtheft OVC - ovc.gov/pdftxt/IDTrightsbooklet.pdf NCVC Financial Crime Resource Center victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/financial-crime-resourcecenter National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network identitytheftnetwork.org AARP - aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork Identity Theft Resource Center - idtheftcenter.org Questions? Hazel Heckers: [email protected] CO Bureau of Investigation, Identity Theft/Fraud Investigation Unit ID Theft Advocacy Network of CO Merry O’Brien: [email protected] National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network 60 What’s Next? ► Download or order a copy of Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud • SaveAndInvest.org/FraudCenter – see Program and Outreach Toolkit ► Encourage your colleagues to order copies of the guide. ► Stay tuned for future webinars related to financial fraud advocacy.