View the Presentation Slides - the National Center for Victims of Crime

Advanced Identity Theft
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, 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
─ Provides Education, Training, and Evaluation
─ Serves as a Trusted Source of Current Information on Victims'
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
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
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
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
Part I:
The harm identity theft can
cause to victims
& barriers victims face after
the victimization
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
DOC Records
Liens or other court actions
IRS & State Dept. of Revenue
• Property
• Vehicles
• Addresses
Known Relatives & Associates
Insurance Claims
DL/Mug Shot Photos
Social Media Information
Credit Headers, Financial
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
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
Total ID theft
Credit card
New account
Moderately distressing
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
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:
“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
• Reluctance to report
• Fear
• Unsure of how to
report, overwhelmed
• Fear of recurrence
• Anxiety, depression,
• 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
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
What a Credit Report Does Not Show
• Credit Reports show most financial information, but do not always
• 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
First Steps
• Obtain Credit Report from all 3 Credit Reporting
• 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
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:
• Experian:
• 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
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:
Return Letter
• Request Verification that:
– Account is fraudulent and does not belong to
– 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
• Once CRA accepts ID Theft report, it
– Block the fraudulent information within 4
business days
– Notify business of the block and ID Theft
• Once business is notified of block, it
– Stop reporting info on that account to the
– 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
Investment Accounts
Fraudulent Student Loans
Debt Collectors
• Tell the debt collector to stop calling as debt is due to ID
– Ask that the account be flagged as ID Theft being
• 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:
• 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
Part III:
Building your organization’s
capacity to address the needs of
identity theft victims
• Understand process before trying to lead
victim through it
• Establish contacts in community who will
– Banks and Credit Unions
– Financial Advisors
– Credit Card Companies
– Attorneys (including “Legal Aid”)
• Consider Retired Volunteers
– Retired Bankers
– Retired Fraud Investigators
– Retired Law Enforcement
– Retired Prosecutors
– Retired Attorneys
– Retired Business Owners
– Retired IRS Employees
• Do you have a grant that requires or
allows volunteer hours as Matching
• You may be able to count “specialized
volunteers” at a higher dollar per hour rate
• Win for your agency and Win for the
A Word About Criminal Enterprises
• Identity Theft & Fraud have been directly
linked to Global Organized Crime Activities
– Human Trafficking
– Drug Trade
– Terrorist Activities
– Known Terrorist Organizations
Part IV:
Advocate training tools,
materials for clients, and
other online resources
Advocates’ Handy Desk Guide
Lawyers’ Handy Desk Guide
Resources for your Clients & Outreach Materials
Alerts on Latest Fraud & Scams
A Support Network for
Professionals Helping IDT Victims
• 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
Finding Your State’s Laws & Resources
• State Victim Resources (numbers, links)
• Security Freeze Law & State-Specific How
• 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
Online Interactive Training for Advocates
Resource Round Up
NCVC Financial Crime Resource Center
National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network
Identity Theft Resource Center -
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
What’s Next?
► Download or order a copy of Taking
Action: An Advocate’s Guide to
Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud
• – see
Program and Outreach Toolkit
► Encourage your colleagues to order
copies of the guide.
► Stay tuned for future webinars related
to financial fraud advocacy.

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