Identity Theft
Linda and Jay Foley  -  2005/2/9
http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum
 
 
Is there legislation to hold businesses and organization responsible for identity theft perpetrated by their own employees against their customers? (Subject: Internal Controls to prevent ID Fraud)
 
1.  Linda
 Yes- but most are settled out of court, with a gag order attached.
 
2.  Det. S. Menge
 In reference to legislating companies who allow internal identity theft to happen, several states have brought Senate Bills forward for passage. Michigan for example,has brought forward sevral bills addressing the manner in which Social Security numbers are publicly displayed. Further, the transmittal of Social Security numbers over the internet unless the connection was secure and authorization has been given was also brought forward in the form of a Senate Bill. Personally I see a growing trend for states to enact tougher laws on companies to hold personal information confidential. Further I believe that if a victim can show their information was released due to a companies negligence, civil recourse can be applied. However, that is a question for an attorney =). It is possible the company was victimized as well by an employee who steals this information without the companies knowledge. This would be a burden the state would have to prove when prosecuting this type of legislation.
 
3.  Caroline Farmer
 I have heard of some negligence law suits against businesses for negligent hiring or negligent business practices but I haven't heard of any winning lawsuits. Have you?
 
4.  Linda
 Some states are starting to pass legislation about SSn protection and document destruction but the progress is slow. There have been lawsuits against companies that have been negligent in not following good business practices in locking up information well.
 
 
What are the basic steps one should take to prevent ID Theft, especially when on the internet?
 
1.  Linda
 A few more tips: 1. Cross-cut shred sensitive papers before they go in the trash. This includes pre-approved credit card offers, checks, insurance benefit statements, bills, statements, anything with barcodes. 2. Guard your SSN Ė donít carry it and resist giving it out unless necessary. Donít put SSN on checks. 3. Check your credit report once a year TransUnion: 800-888-4213, www.tuc.com, (fraud division- 800-680-7289) TDD 800-553-7803 Experian: 888-EXPERIAN, www.experian.com, (fraud div.- 888-397-3742), TDD 800-972-0322 Equifax: 800- 685-1111, www.equifax.com (fraud division- 800-525-6285), Hearing impaired- use AT&T line. Have operator call the Auto Disclosure Line at 1-800-685-1111 4. Block your name from pre-approved credit card lists- 888-5OPTOUT 5. Guard your personal information. Carry as little as possible in your wallet. Get credit cards with your picture on them. Be alert to shoulder surfers listening for information. Cancel credit cards you no longer use. 6. Use firewall software to protect your computer (www.zonealarm.com). Watch out for Internet scams. Businesses have a co-responsibility to protect your information. Businesses need to: 1. Better verify credit applications, observe fraud alerts on credit reports, and question items that do not match bureau reported information. 2. Protect customers and employees from possible SSN theft. Discontinue practices such as using the SSN as a customer or employee number, publicly displaying SSN including cards carried in wallets, items posted on boards or as an access number to enter a computer or cash register systems. 3. Stop asking for information they donít need. Your health club and vet do not need your SSN. 4. Safeguard personal information as if it were a newborn or the companyís best kept secret. 5. Severely limit who has access to your information and under what circumstances. 6. Make sure that they store, destroy and protect your information properly.
 
2.  Linda
 We cannot protect ourselves from identity theft; you can only minimize your risk factor. The reality is that the business community holds most of our information. They need to be our first line of defense. In the meantime: 1. Remove your Social Security card from your wallet. Donít allow it to be your driverís license number. Federal law requires that DMVs must change your license if they still use a SSN for a DL#. If your number is on another card in your wallet, photocopy that card and cut off the last 4 numbers of the SSN from the photocopy. Carry that with you on a daily basis, only taking your original health insurance cards and such when needed. By the way, birth certificates donít belong in your wallet either. 2. INTERNET: Avoid scams by knowing what the scams are. ITRC and other groups have listings of currents scams and even samples. You didnít win a lottery in the Netherlands or any other country unless you bought a ticket THERE, there is no widow in another country that can have you help her transfer funds and NO company in the US will ask you to go to a website or respond to an email to ďverify your accountĒ by giving them your SSN or credit card numbers. That is called a phishing scam. For more info: http://www.idtheftcenter.org/alerts.shtml or http://www.scambusters.org 3. Have a locked mailbox that you receive mail in. Take any mail with checks in them to the post office. 4. Shred, shred, shred- any documents with SSN or account information. Use a cross-cut shredder and NOT a straight cut shredder. Believe it or not, the thieves are taping those papers back together. 5. Do not exchange your information out loud in a public location so no one can overhear the conversation. 6. We donít recommend debit cards. We have too many victims with problems that use debit cards. In essence it is a check that takes money out of your account when used as a ďcredit card.Ē Instead we suggest an ATM card and a credit card which gives you the opportunity to look at bills before the money is taken. 7. Leave your checkbook and deposit slips at home. There is a lot of check theft going on. 8. Donít lock a briefcase, purse or wallet in the trunk of your car while in public. Put it in there in the privacy of your garage. Thieves are targeting people who go into a gym or who take walks after locking belongings up in the trunk while at the park.
 
3.  Linda
 Hello everyone. We will try to answer as many questions as possible. We may refer you to our website: www.idtheftcenter.org for details on your question or to governmental sites. All sites we send you to will have FREE and quality information. Let's have fun and explore this intriguing topic
 
 
I am a victim advocate in Johnson County, Kansas. I work with all of our victims of identity theft. With the incredible increase in the frequence of this crime, how can we convince governmental agencies to share information when they learn that a social security number has been used by someone other than its' rightful owner? I was appauled to learn today (MSNBC.com) about their non-reporting and their apparent sense of not caring. These victims suffer in many ways - we should urge the government agencies to intervene when they can. Thank you!
 
1.  Jay
 In theory that is a great question. However, it's not really that easy. Law enforcement agencies will most often share what they can with the media sources. Media outlets contact law enforcement agencies usually daily to gather such information. Then it's up to the media entity what they report or don't report. The problem is that a lot of media outlets find things like identity theft to be a common "everyday" thing and therefore will most often decline to report on it. It's really the media we need to convince in my opinion.
 
2.  Linda
 Which governmental agencies are you concerned about? Clearly law enforcement needs to get involved. The problem we see most is that businesses are reluctant to share info. Are you an advocate with a governmental agency? If not there are privacy issues at play as well. We found that by attending professional meetings we were able to grow our roladex and get well connected. If that doesn't answer your question, please clarify and resubmit.
 
 
Since ID theft normally spans several jurisdictions (and sometimes states) and the US Attorney's Office normally needs a high victim loss or high number of victims to pursue the cases, how do we effectively prosecute those people who don't meet the US Atty's requirements, so that this crime is not profitable at any level?
 
1.  Jay Foley
 Several states are passing legislation that allows the local DA to pull the case from anywhere in the state so long as there is a link to that DAís county. It encourages the DA with the best chance to take and make the case.
 
 
Why is or does there seem to be no real co-operation amoungst the various agencies (at least in Calif.) not only to help I.D. theft victim's, but to try and keep their official records straight so that this can be minimized or corrected sooner?
 
1.  Tom Shows
 Linda, This has not really helped. Most of the agencies that have been contacted previously. AKA's have been listed on a DMV report, and the only thing that they would do ,(is, has and )was to remove the name. Nothing else. No other help or guidance. Also after filing the report (LAPD Detectives) was told to "Just accept it!" Any other suggestions? Attorney Generals office has also been notified.
 
2.  Linda
 There are really only two groups that work with id theft victims as free advocates and we work well together. However, many other crimes connect into id theft and we really need to have a large training that includes people who work with domestic abuse, child issues, al anon programs and other victim problems including governmental agencies such as Aging and Independent Services. We have found that attending professional meetings and networking at community fairs has been a big help to us in getting to know the services available. As to keeping records straight and legislation, CA has some of the strongest victim recovery laws in the nation. Also use the Office of Privacy Protection- DCA for help in connecting to the right group for your victims. www.privacy.ca.gov If this doesn't answer the question, please resubmit with more detail.
 
 
Please identify ways that law enforcement agencies can help victims of ID theft. Also, please identify states that require law enforcement officers to participate in training on ID theft recognition, prevention, and investigation.
 
1.  Linda
 go to our website: www.idtheftcenter.org We have an entire section for LE
 
2.  Kathi Lee
 "we have several ideas that can condense the process for LE efficiency." Where can we access your ideas for LE efficiency?
 
3.  Kathi Lee
 "we have several ideas that can condense the process for LE efficiency." Where can we access your ideas for LE efficiency?
 
4.  Jay Foley
 Currently the State of Texas is the only one with a mandatory Identity Theft Training for LEA. Several states have training for investigators. We believe that law enforcement can best assist victims by taking the report and then forwarding it to the jurisdiction where the crime is happening the most. To make the process smoother we have several ideas that can condense the process for LE efficiency.
 
 
I have been asked to make presentations to senior citizen, civic and other groups to educate them about ID Theft its prevention and victim response. I wish to do the best I can as a security professional (CPP)and educator. Yet my research has revealed much contradictory information. Can you point to a white paper or presentation notes or video that is reliable, accurate and up-to-date? Thank you.
 
1.  Linda
 You are right, there is a lot of apparently contradictory info. The problem (as researchers as quick to point out) is that a study or survey may use a different definition of id theft and therefore come up with a different set of stats. The time when you talk with a victim- at the moment of discovery or 6 months into the crime can change the way a victim answers. In terms of info for seniors I feel it is important that you tell them about how thieves steal info, empower them by talking about some of the things consumers can do (and let them know that the business community has obligations to help too since most of our information is stored in business databases) and then tell them the first few steps of what to do as a victim. Don't forget to go into detail about scams. We have info on our site and the FTC has some great booklets available including "When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name."
 
 
The ways we identitfy ourselves in America appears to be in shambles. The financials and credit grantors and credit reporting agencies are either unwilling or unable to deal with this; the dollar is their bottom line. Why is the movement to biometrics and advanced name recognition software (like Language Analysis Systems, Inc.) so slow in coming? Are their any better ways to identity ourselves? Thank you.
 
1.  Linda
 Couldn't agree more. It will be one of the waves of the future- but years away
 
2.  Det. S. Menge
 You are right in the fact that business decisions come down to the all mighty dollar. Biometric data has been a field which has been developing for years. Florida legislators included biometric data into Florida's Identity theft law when it was first enacted back in 2000-2001. Companies are slow in implementing such technology because it would have to be done on such a large scale. Take for example the magnetic strip on the back of your credit card. This technology is 1960's, but look at how many businesses it touches. Every business you can think of uses the same type of sale terminal to read these magnetic strips. American Express now has "Blue". The credit card with the electronic chip in it. In order for it to be successful, every business that accepts Blue, must have the electronic chip reader. New devices cost money, more money means less profits. The bean counters think the write off for fraud will cost less than it would to equip every mom and pop store with new readers. The technology is there, its getting business to cooperate that's the trick. Hope I contributed to the thought process.
 
3.  Linda
 You won't get an argument from me about the need for financials, credit grantors and the CRAs to change. The problem is change costs money, money they don't wish to spend. They'll spend millions lobbying against change however. As to biometrics- that depends on the type of biometric you mean and how it will be used. The cost is high and we still have the same storage breach problem that we have with current databases. We have yet to prove that it will make a significant difference. Even fingerprint scanners are not perfect. Thieves know how to make sure they don't give a good print. The bottom line is this- we don't have a way to even clearly identify a person from time of birth to time of death. That is the biggest issue to date. We base id on a birth certificate and SSN and neither are the ultimate proof of who you are. They are easily counterfeited unfortunately
 
 
Question pertaining to the identity theft topic: What can be done to properly identify claimants for government benefits when claims are submitted by telephone or on-line?
 
1.  Jay Foley
 That is a interesting question. It will requires a basic amount of information already in the system to be matched against what the caller is reveling over the phone. This will never be a perfect method and there will always be an element of fraud possible.
 
 
What can a crime victim program do to assistance victims with placing a "victim's impact statement" with any of the three credit organizations?
 
1.  Linda
 Fraud alerts are requests by consumers to be contacted by businesses. The first set is called in and the second set needs to be sent via mail- and strongly worded. It ultimately is up to the business community to honor them. Current law says they must either honor your request or "take reaonable steps to verify your identity"- whatever that means. There is very little teeth behind this law. In fact in CA we had a mandatory fraud alert observation law that was trumped by FACTA, the latest FCRA law. Our lastest survey, though limited, shows only about 70% compliance. Consumers are concerned about this. Here is some more info on fraud alerts and credit freezes. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion allow consumers to place fraud or security alerts on credit reports. This is often done during the first phone contact. ITRC would like to remind you of the following: These phone-activated alerts are temporary in nature, lasting only 90 days. In order to have a fraud/security alert extend to 7 years, you must write them a letter requesting this service and show that you were a victim of identity theft. In most cases you need to include a copy of a police report. Each CRA has a different requirement for the letter. Be sure to follow all directions and send your request certified, return receipt requested mail. You may customize your request. You have up to 100 words to state any specific instructions. Most people put: Verify all applications with me personally. I can be reached at (phone numbers- may include cell phone). You may want to add information about the imposter or addresses that are unacceptable, etc. To date, while there are guidelines to observe fraud alerts we have found that there are companies that do not honor the alerts. About 30% of victims have had accounts opened after the placement of an alert. Will this cause you to be denied credit? Anything is possible and some victims report this problem. It will delay instant credit applications. That is the point. However, it should not lower your FICO score or cause you to be denied a loan, etc. Simply tell your lender of the alert when you submit an application. If you live in California or Texas you can also take advantage of credit freezes. LA and VTís laws will begin in July 2005. http://www.idtheftcenter.org/vg124.shtml
 
 
Is there a national campaign on consumer awareness? If not, is there going to be? I know one state has pending legislation on starting a consumer awareness program that would start in their colleges/universities.
 
1.  Linda
 Check our website. It will be advertised. Probably ready for June/July
 
2.  Lorrie Adams
 When the video is done, could I please get a copy (ies) of it? I am the program coordinator for the Nevada Cyber Crime Task. This video would be wonderful to show when we conduct our outreach.
 
3.  Linda
 Actually this is National Consumer Protection Awareness Week and the FTC is doing a lot on id theft during this week. I am a strong advocate of education on id theft starting at high school and the Identity Theft Resource Center is developing a video and curriculum on that now. It should also be done at every college orientation. While on the topic- there should also be a locked cabinet for each student in dorm rooms for them to store valuables including papers with identifying info. If anyone who is a celeb and wants to be a national spokesperson, let us know.
 
 
Senior citizens seem to be especially vulnerable to this crime. Do you have specific suggestions for seniors to avoid identity theft?
 
1.  Linda
 I'd add a couple other items. If you work with senior teach them about id theft. Role play out scams so they know what to expect and how to respond. Many independent living facilities and other assisted living centers place emergency info in plastic sleeves on doors or in bathrooms. Make sure you do background checks on ALL personnel. Too many seniors become victims due to caregivers. Families need to take over the financial responsibility for that person when they no long can do so for themselves- but that is a double edged sword because we know that family members steal ids too.
 
2.  Linda
 I'd add a couple other items. If you work with senior teach them about id theft. Role play out scams so they know what to expect and how to respond. Many independent living facilities and other assisted living centers place emergency info in plastic sleeves on doors or in bathrooms. Make sure you do background checks on ALL personnel. Too many seniors become victims due to caregivers. Families need to take over the financial responsibility for that person when they no long can do so for themselves- but that is a double edged sword because we know that family members steal ids too.
 
3.  Jay Foley
 Yes. One do not carry your social; security card with you. Take your Medicare and or insurance cards with your SSN on them and photo copy them. Cut the photo copies down to wallet size and cut the last four numbers of the SSN off or out of the copy. Carry the copy on a daily basis. If you are going to a new doctor then take the original. After that carry the copy. Shred anything that you are going to dispose of that has personal information on it. Never give out personal information on the telephone unless you made the call and are sure of whom you are talking to. Check your credit reports annually be just a little bit more cautious around other people.
 
 
What programs have you identified that would be considered "best practices" of agencies responding to victims' issues? Thank you for all your work and assistance in this area.
 
1.  Jay Foley
 In the realm of best practices there are several things. One is the use of senior volunteers to provide support to the victims from the investigating agency. In several departments the volunteers are taking in information and answering questions for the victims in place of the detective on the case. This frees him or her to work more and talk less. We offer a training program for both the volunteers and the victim assistance people. This training can span state wide jurisdictions to defray the costs.
 
 
The organization I work for is very concerned about the HIMS database regulations forcing programs to submit information about residents in order to track homelessness. Working in a domestic violence program we are very concerned about the confidentiality and safety of the clients we serve not only with protecting them from their abusers but also with identity theft. I was wondering if anyone has any additional information regarding this topic in protecting their clients?
 
1.  Linda
 I agree with your concerns. With all the data breaches we can assume no system is safe. Even gvt databases have gotten failing grades on security per the GAO.
 
2.  Samantha
 HIMS database is asking for SSN, full names; last know address, etc to put into a massive database. We are concerned in that regards because it will be in a massive system and time and time again it has been proven that no computer system no matter how encrypted is foolproof.
 
3.  Linda
 Again, we are talking about businesses, or in this case governmental agencies or nonprofits, protecting the info that they store. Information leakage is a gigantic problem. If a company is not guarding information from the time it obtains it through destruction (shredding, destruction of hard-drive info, etc) then they are putting all of us at risk. A DV program has additional problems, especially when id theft is involved since many of your clients may not have stable addresses for the credit reporting agencies to mail credit reports. ID theft is the perfect crime to use as an extension of DV and dominance. The confidentiality of info is vital. I agree completely. Locked storage areas are critical (and I don't mean flimsy file cabinets but cabinets in locked, limited access rooms). Personnel needs to be well screened and only those with a need to know should have the barest of info to get the job done. You don't need an address or SSn to do everything for your clients. Be stingy with the info workers have access to.
 
 
What is the Social Security Administration doing on behalf of victims of identity theft? I have recently heard they are not taking reports....
 
1.  Linda
 Their job is not to investigate id theft but to investigate benefit fraud. They never really have taken id theft reports. People think this is the right agency to call because they issue SS numbers but it is not. There are other governmental agencies that victims should start with, including local police and sheriff departments. The SSA only gets involved when there is a problem that ties into benefit issues or identity cloning- In this crime the imposter uses the victim's information to establish a new life. They work and live as you. Examples: Illegal aliens, criminals avoiding warrants, people hiding from abusive situations or becoming a "new person" to leave behind a poor work and financial history.
 
 
Now that we can get free credit reports, do you recommend that we still purchase credit monitoring services? Is insurance a good thing?
 
1.  Linda
 The Identity Theft Resource Center has adopted a policy of not endorsing any products or services due to our nonprofit status. However, many consumers do ask about credit monitoring services. We have tried several but felt that none fulfilled all our expectations at this time and we are not comfortable in recommending any of them. Most victims want the control of checking credit reports personally and with the new FREE credit report law can do so if they stagger their requests (order only one at a time, about 4 months apart). Things to look for should you wish to proceed: Unfortunately, while most say that they monitor all 3 bureaus, they only do so for the purpose of the first tri-report. Afterwards, they only monitor the one bureau with whom they are associated. In essence, you would have to buy THREE monitoring systems. So check it out. If it doesnít continue to monitor all 3 bureaus 24 hours a day, you are wasting your money. The second problem is time lag and failure to place any notice with the bureaus. Companies are not required to notify the bureaus of credit accounts in your name. In fact, most utility companies only report to the bureaus once an account has gone to collection. There is also a time lag by the credit issuers in some cases -- between the opening of an account and the notice to the bureau. It could be as long as 2 months according to one person who used these monitoring services. Finally remember- Your reports will always be free if you have been denied credit, suspect you are a victim of id theft or financial fraud or are unemployed and looking for employment. ID THEFT INSURANCE: As to id theft insurance, this is a buyer-beware, consumer choice issue. Make sure that they cover most major costs including lost wages and time, travel, legal expenses, postage, photocopying, telephone costs and medical/psychological treatment that may be needed. Your highest costs will be time spent, legal costs (if necessary) and travel. It should have a low deductible or youíll be spending too much out of pocket. It should also be very low cost.
 
 
We learned recently that Texas mandates training on identity theft for its law enforcement officers. Are you aware of other states that are requiring ID theft training for law enforcement?
 
1.  Linda
 A far as I know Texas is the only one mandating this. Some states do have training programs available (ie POST in California) and there is some training available at the federal level, upon request from the FBI. There is also a roll call CD that was done by the Secret Service last year that is good.
 
 
I understand you are a nonprofit. How do you support your program? Do you charge victims?
 
1.  Linda
 We get money from donations (few and far between), grants (fewer and farther between, and presentation fees. Unfortunately many agencies, foundations and even governmental groups feel that "victimless financial crimes" don't need help. We know that a human on the other end of the phone is critical. We have a wonderful group of volunteers across the country helping but that doesn't pay the bills. So- my only pitch of the day- if you know of any grants, family trust, or wish to donate, please let us know. PS- I make less now than I did as a beginning teacher 30 years ago- and without benefits. Our goal is to grow to a large call center so we can help many more victims who need personalized help.
 
 
Are federal laws normally more stringent than states law when prosecuting cases of identity theft?
 
1.  Jay Foley
 The Federal laws are not as detailed as most of the state laws. Additionally due to the manpower issues the Federal Agencies have to set higher thresholds for these crimes. Most of the states have laws that can be tied into the prosecution to make it more worth while to go though State Court.
 
 
It appears that identity thieves have chosen a relatively low risk criminal endeavor with potentially high returns. What do the data tell us about the arrest, prosecution, and conviction rates? Is there any real deterrent effect?
 
1.  Linda
 No argument here. We want legislators and JUDGES to take this crime seriously but DA's have to also. They set policy. Too many victims hear that only the business is the victim. Not true.
 
2.  Jay Foley
 An additional thought that I have is that it is the only crime where you can steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from a wide ranging group of companies and people and get almost no time at all if caught. If you rob a 7/11 store at gun point you get less than $200.00 and 7 to 15 years in prison.
 
3.  Jay Foley
 We have been pointing that out for several years now. The apprehension rate has been reported to be about 5% nationwide. There are reports that say the agency with the best arrest record for identity theft cases is the US Postal Inspection Service. The last report that I saw said 12% of cases were being solved. Considering the ties to mail theft that is understandable.
 
 
What is the most common method criminals use to steal a person's identity?
 
1.  Tracy
 Hello- Thank you for your wonderful information. I will pass the information on to the rest of the people in my office. Can I ask where you obtained this infor. so that I can look into it further? Thanks, Tracy
 
2.  Linda
 I have to wonder how many unlocked mailboxes there are in the US. No one would go to sleep with their door open and unlocked but they don't think twice about what comes in the mail. Even victims argue about the cost with us. I wish the USPO would require locked boxes eventually.
 
3.  Sheilah Castor
 A common method familiar to our agency is mail theft. We counsel postal customers to place outgoing mail in your local blue mail collection box or post office, or mail from your place of business. Also, pick up your mail as soon after delivery as possible - don't leave mail in mailboxes overnight. In rural areas, keep in mind many mail thieves just look for those red flags on mailboxes - indicating outgoing mail (many times including checks) is there, awaiting pickup. For more information, check out our website: www.usps.com/postalinspectors.
 
4.  Det. S. Menge
 Mail theft is one of the top means to obtain personal information. Countless people mail their bills "the old fashioned way" by putting it out by the road mailbox and raising the red flag. Whats in those boxes, outgoing credit card payments which contain a credit card number, a check, a checking account and routing number. This equates to a jackpot for identity thieves. Second best way is dumpster diving into your trash for discarded personal information.
 
5.  Linda
 1. Lost or stolen wallets 2. Unlocked mailboxes 3. SS cards in wallets or card in wallets with SSN (see end for tip on this) 4. Dumpster diving- going through trash either at your home or in business dumpsters looking for unshredded papers with information on them 5. The biggest- theft of info from inside companies 6. Shoulder surfing- how are you exchanging info? Can it be overheard? 7. Poor computer security systems 8. Scams- see previous answers on consumer protection (which is a misnomer) Tip of the day: 1. Remove your Social Security card from your wallet. Donít allow it to be your driverís license number. Federal law requires that DMVs must change your license if they still use a SSN for a DL#. If your number is on another card in your wallet, photocopy that card and cut off the last 4 numbers of the SSN from the photocopy. Carry that with you on a daily basis, only taking your original health insurance cards and such when needed. By the way, birth certificates donít belong in your wallet either.
 
 
Do you have recommendations for a program that the state can develope to best help a victim of id theft? I am aware of a "passport" program in Ohio which is relatively new.
 
1.  Linda
 The passport program is a good start. We need to start however with each state requiring the police to take a report in the jurisdiction where the victim lives. Only a few states have a law even similar to this. It is the basis of victim recovery. Next I would like to see some money put aside for a victim assistance program- live people to talk to (we do training through OVC). We have some new federal laws that will help but need states to pass laws requiring better business practices in terms of the handling of SSN and other identifying info. That's just a start. We have an entire list on our website and PIRG also has a list of model language for laws. Credit freezes are also a great protection law- protection or prevention is always preferable to victim recovery laws. http://www.idtheftcenter.org/curlaws.shtml
 
 
How does the ITRC track and coordinate the multitude of cases that you handle each year?
 
1.  Jay Foley
 We have investigated several different possible software options for case management and we selected a program called Case Planner.
 
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