Office for Victims of Crime Announces New Victim Resources
Identity theft can affect anyone, regardless of age, economic status, or geographic location. Victim advocates encounter clients who are affected by many types of crimes, such as domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, human trafficking, and elder abuse. To assist with all their clients’ needs, advocates must be alert for signs that a crime victim may be victimized again through identity theft. To assist in this effort, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has new resources that will give advocates the information they need to recognize the indicators of identity theft and address victims’ needs.
- Identity Theft Victim Assistance Network Coalitions Project is a cooperative agreement by OVC to the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc., to help OVC create or support regional or statewide coalitions to assist victims of identity theft. OVC encourages crime victim advocates to learn more about identity theft by getting connected to 1 of the 10 newly launched coalitions across the country. To learn more about coalitions forming in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin, visit the project’s Web site. Contact and join a coalition in your area!
- Statement of Rights for Identity Theft Victims was developed by the Federal Trade Commission and OVC. It describes the special rights afforded to identity theft victims, including their rights regarding their work with credit reporting companies, access to creditor documentation of fraudulent accounts, communication with debt collectors, and limits on the victims’ financial liability.
- Guide to Assisting Identity Theft Victims was developed by the Federal Trade Commission to help pro bono attorneys and victim service providers chart their way through and resolve legal problems that clients may have following the theft of their identity. This comprehensive guide is full of checklists and links to applicable laws and sample letters for victims who need to contact credit bureaus and creditors. It’s a "must-have" for any victim service provider. Add it to your resource library today.
- Survey of State Victims’ Rights and Identity Theft is a national survey conducted by the National Crime Victim Law Institute on state legislation regarding a state’s crime victim bill of rights. Not all states afford victims of identity theft the basic rights that other crime victims’ receive, such as the right to be present, the right to be heard, and the right to be informed. Check out what the survey revealed about your state.
- Victims of Identity Theft, 2008 is a special supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. For the first time, data was gathered on the impact of crime on identity theft victims. Those victims who responded to the survey reported feeling moderate to severe distress at stress levels similar to those of victims of some types of violent crime.
- Stolen Futures: A Snapshot on Child Identity Theft is a recent article written by two of OVC’s Visiting Fellows to coincide with a federal forum held July 12 by the Federal Trade Commission and cosponsored by OVC. This gathering of experts 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 its associated problems when it does occur. To learn more, view the webcast or download the transcript.
- National Crime Information Center Identity Theft File is a means for law enforcement to "flag" stolen identities and identify imposters when they encounter them. Victims of identity theft can ask to be added to the file through the law enforcement agency that took their identity theft report. Being included in this file can help victims avoid arrest for crimes committed in their name as a result of identity theft. For more information on how to help victims use this investigative tool or to learn the status of your state’s NCIC participation, call 1–877–324–6242.
Advocates and victims can view additional resources that are available to them by visiting the Fraud and Identity Theft section of the OVC Web site. Victim advocates also can expand their knowledge by accessing online training that will teach victim service and other allied professionals the skills they need to serve victims of identity theft more effectively and assist them with their financial and emotional recovery.
resources available by visiting the Fraud and Identity Theft section
of the OVC Web site.