If you’re interested in starting an Identity Theft Council in your community, we’d love to hear from you.
In most communities, the first and most important partner is the local police department that will refer identity theft victims to local counselors.
If you haven’t already done so, you should contact your local police department and invite them to join the national program. Or we can contact your local police department and begin the process.
Most local Identity Theft Councils are a partnership between the police or Sheriff’s department, local credit unions and community banks, the local Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses.
To learn more about starting or working with an Identity Theft Council in your community, please contact us.
Written by Neal OFarrell
Become a Member
The Identity Theft Council relies on the support of its members. As a member you'll be taking lead role in a unique local community initiative that's of national importance.
Your membership will help law enforcement's efforts to support victims around the country, and help ease the burden on victims and on the financial community.
And you''ll also have the opportunity to generate publicity, build brand awareness, and meet new customers in your community.
Membership benefits include:
Board membership of your local Identity Theft Council.
The Identity Theft Council membership seal for use on your web site and on marketing materials.
The Identity Theft Council membership decal for use in your branches.
Exclusive eBooks on identity theft and cyber security for consumers and small businesses to generate business leads and reward existing members. eBooks can be customized with your logo, welcome message, and links to your web site. Please ask to see a sample.
Complete seminar kits to make it easy to organize and host local events for specific audiences including consumers, businesses, and schools.
A dedicated awareness and outreach program for small businesses.
Press release templates and media assistance to help generate local publicity.
Victim assistance kits.
Your logo featured prominently on the local Identity Theft Council web site as well as on the honor role on the national site.
Joint press releases.
If you'd like to learn more about how to become a member, please contact us.
Written by Neal OFarrell
The Identity Theft Council is a community response to a crisis. And identity theft is at crisis level.
In the last 36 months alone there were more than 30 million victims of identity theft in the United States. That works out to an average of more than 25,000 new victims every single day. To put that in perspective, that's more that the total number of burglaries, attempted burglaries, petty thefts, purse snatchings, pickpocketings, arsons, shoplifting, check fraud, and auto thefts combined.
What's worse, there are few identity thefts that don't involve other crimes, from burglary and drug abuse, to pickpocketing and check fraud. And with law enforcement unable to investigate more than a small percentage of these cases, victims are feeling abandoned and criminals emboldened.
The Identity Theft Council is creating a national network of local partnerships between law enforcement, the business community, and local volunteers to provide local and in-person support to these victims, in the communities where they live. The council provides identity theft victims with greater long term support and recovery assistance in their local community and at the same time helping to reduce the incidence of identity theft by improving local awareness and education.
Our Mission and Goals
The Identity Theft Council is founded on a simple premise – that every community, no matter how small, has resources that can be harnessed to combat identity theft: to help victims recover from the crime, to ease the burden on law enforcement, and to educate users about the many options they have to avoid the crime.
Our mission is to find more effective ways to fight identity theft at a local level, and we hope to achieve this in a number of ways:
- By providing victims of identity theft with free access to local experts and trained counselors who are volunteering their time to help victims recover from identity theft.
- By working with local credit unions and banks to encourage their employees to become trained volunteer identity theft counselors.
- By partnering with law enforcement, providing them with free training and other resources, so they can provide a more positive response to victims.
- By working with a broad network of local partners, including the financial community, law enforcement, local government, local businesses, and schools, to spread the “prevention through education” message to the broader community.
By creating local Identity Theft Councils in communities across the country as a single point of response and support.
Victims of identity theft who contact their local police department, either to make a complaint or file a report, will now have the option of being referred to their local Identity Theft Council for free advice and assistance on how to respond to and recover from the crime.
Victims are introduced by their police department to local volunteer counselors who have been trained in identity theft prevention and response. Counselors undergo regular training on all aspects of identity theft and fraud, have signed a contract, have been subjected to background screening, and are monitored by the council.
Each local Identity Theft Council is made up of volunteers representing the police department, the local business community, local government, and individual volunteers.
Counselors are selected based on a number of factors, including specific skills, business or professional background, and ability to commit their time. Counselors include retired law enforcement professionals, lawyers, accountants, and business owners who have specific skills that can be augmented by continuous training.
Victims can contact counselors by phone, by email, or through a dedicated local Identity Theft Council web site. Counselors will meet in person with the victim and can bring it other counselors with specific skills that may help individual victims.
The counselor will examine the victim’s case and prepare a response plan, personally assisting the victim through all steps of the plan including:
• Filing a police report.
• Completing an identity theft affidavit.
• Contacting creditors.
• Helping the victim place fraud alerts or credit freezes.
• Completing form letters and responses.
• Dealing with debt collectors.
If a counselor deems that a case is too complex to be handled locally, the victim may then be referred to the Identity Theft Recovery Unit of Intersections, whose trained support staff will take over the case free of charge.