• Written by Neal OFarrell
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We're calling it 

Our Really Big iDea

We know that the vast majority of identity thefts could be prevented simply by better user education, awareness, and vigilance.

If we can successfully address this national security challenge, we can fundamentally and permanently change the identity theft landscape, and all the parts of our lives that identity theft impacts.


  • Our goal is to raise up to $3 million to launch the most comprehensive, aggressive, and ambitious nationwide education campaign, to reach, teach, and engage tens of thousands of consumers, students, and police officers in communities across the country over the next three years.
  • We plan to recruit and train up to 5,000 volunteer counselors and community organizers, to provide local support to victims of identity theft and to spearhead local education and training programs around the country.
  • We plan to train 10,000 police officers in identity theft prevention and victim response (connect here to our partnership with the Department of Justice COPS training program - NOF).
  • We plan to establish state-level Identity Theft Councils arcoss the country so that local credit unions, banks, law enforcement and business groups can take the lead at a state level and determine what works best for their communities.


  • Identity theft is at epidemic levels and affects and impacts all of us, even if we're not victims. The spiralling losses and security costs incurred by businesses and government have to be paid by someone, and that's usually the consumer.
  • There have been an estimated 20 million identity theft victims in the United States in the last 24 months. That works out to an average of 830,000 victims every 30 days, or more than 1,000 every hour.
  • To put that in perspective, there were more victims of identity theft during that period that there were reported burglaries, attempted burglaries, arsons, vehicle thefts, shoplifting, purse snatching, and pick pocketing, nationwide, combined (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 2009-2010).
  • Identity theft often goes hand in hand with many other crimes, including burglary, mail theft, document forgery, and meth abuse. All these crimes have to be investigated which creates an additional drain on local police departments that are already stretched by budget and manpower issues.
  • Identity theft has been directly connected to the global drug trade and to terrorism.

Experts agree that the best way to prevent the majority of identity thefts from happening in the first place is to change people's behavior through better education and constant vigilance.

If we can reach them, we can teach them.

How can you help?

About the Identity Theft Council

Established in early 2010 in the San Francisco Bay area, the Identity Theft Council (ITC) is a non-profit, grassroots organization that provides identity theft victims with free, ongoing support and identity recovery assistance in their local communities. The Council is creating a nationwide network of local partnerships between law enforcement, the financial industry, and volunteers in local communities to provide hands-on support for victims of identity theft, help law enforcement provide a more coordinated response, and improve identity theft education and awareness community by community, across the country.

The Council was founded by security expert Neal O'Farrell with the support of local law enforcement in the San Francisco Bay area. The Council is supported nationally by co-founder, Intersections Inc., the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), Elder Financial Protection Network (EFPN), and the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC). More.


  • Written by Neal OFarrell
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Identity Theft Reporting

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  • Written by Neal OFarrell
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About Neal O'Farrell

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Are you a victim?

If you're a victim of identity theft, you can get help now, at no cost, by calling the ITRC Victim Support Hotline at 1-888-400-5530 to speak to a live counselor.

About The Council

The Identity Theft Council is a great example of how a community can come together, to work together, to help each other. Learn more about how we got started.

Introducing Foster Warriors

Foster Warriors is a nationwide effort by the Council to help foster youth pursue studies and careers in cybersecurity. Learn More

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A Victim's Story

There are millions of victims of identity theft in the U.S., with another million being added every 30 days. Hear how one couple's bad luck turned into a three year identity theft nightmare.

News and Events

Check out the first episodes of our upcoming documentary In The Company of Thieves and learn about identity theft from some of the most experienced identity thieves in the business.


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