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Advanced Identity Theft Responses: Financial Identity Theft

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1 Advanced Identity Theft Responses: Financial Identity Theft
National Center for Victims of Crime Webinar – September 10, 2014 Joshua 1

2 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 Regulation, enforcement, education FINRA Investor Education Foundation Awards grants and manages targeted projects focused on investor education and protection CHRISTINE – 1 minute Brief overview of what FINRA and the FINRA Foundation do. Then turn to the Foundation’s fraud prevention/Investor Protection Campaign. Investor Protection Campaign - a targeted effort to reduce the incidence of investment fraud among investors. Last several years, FINRA Foundation and AARP partnered to produce a body of research: “Why do investors fall prey to investment fraud?” Three different lines of research have been pursued: victim profiling, 2) persuasion tactics and 3) curriculum testing. We have: Learned what the face of investment fraud looks like. Established the risk factors that differentiate victims from other investors. Identified the most common persuasion tactics used to perpetrate investment fraud. [Research write ups of the are available online at FINRA Investor Education Foundation joined together with AARP, the SEC, state securities regulators and non-profit agencies and community-based organizations to demonstrate simple steps every investor should take before making any investment decision. Goal: to train fraud fighters across the country to carry these messages to their friends, families and community.

3 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 Victims Provides Education, Training, and Evaluation Serves as a Trusted Source of Current Information on Victims' Issues Jeff – 1 minute

4 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 Josh – 30 seconds

5 Presenters 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 Joshua

6 Objectives 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 victimization 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 Introduction – Josh 2 minutes Brief Recap -  Merry – 5 minutes Impact of ID Theft – Merry – 20 minutes Steps to Recover – Hazel – 45 minutes Building Capacity – Hazel – 10 minutes Resources – Merry – 5 minutes Conclusion and Q&A – Josh – 5 minutes

7 Part I: The harm identity theft can cause to victims & barriers victims face after the victimization Introduction – Josh 2 minutes Brief Recap -  Merry – 5 minutes Impact of ID Theft – Merry – 20 minutes Steps to Recover – Hazel – 45 minutes Building Capacity – Hazel – 10 minutes Resources – Merry – 5 minutes Conclusion and Q&A – Josh – 5 minutes

8 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 Merry

9 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 Criminal – financial implications – ex: background check leading to turned down for job, loss of current job. Medical - affects estimated 1.5 million in US (Ponemon study ‘11). Financial implications. Also comingled records – deadly issues. Tough recovery – HIPPA hindering recovery plus regulations lacking to support victim. There is now a group forming specifically for this type of IDT – the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance – MIFA. Tax – increasing issue – more and more reports each year. Top states: FL, GA, CA, MI, NV, MD, AZ, TX, NY, IL. Makes up majority of benefits IDT. Tax IDT Awareness Week will be hosted by FTC for the second year – January 26th – 30th, 2015

10 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 Merry

11 Some of What May Be Involved…
Criminal History (state/nation) Known Relatives & Associates Driving Records Insurance Claims Employment History DL/Mug Shot Photos Warrants Social Media Information DOC Records Credit Headers, Financial Inquiries Liens or other court actions Student Loans IRS & State Dept. of Revenue Actions Birth & Death Records Property Social Security Number Confirmation Inquiries Vehicles Medical Records Addresses

12 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 Examples: taking time off of work to make appearances at banks and making phone calls to correct erroneous credit report entries, getting documents notarized and writing letters

13 Not a “Victimless Crime”
Over half of the victims feel moderate to severe distress from the identity theft. Also physical impacts: insomnia (Sharp et al ‘04), stomach aches, and headaches (ITRC ‘07). Heart palpitations, hyperventilation, dizziness, sweating, high blood pressure and muscle aches, sexual dysfunction (ITRC ‘09). Langton, L. & Planty, M. (2010). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victim Victimization Survey Supplement, Victims of Identity Theft 2008.

14 Latest Data from BJS See webinar featuring Langton and Planty – give link Langton, L. & Planty, M. (2013). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victim Victimization Survey Supplement, Victims of Identity Theft

15 I apologize for the vernacular, but it just sucked, what he did
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 ocean. 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:

16 -From an identity theft victim helped by CBI
“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

17 Trauma Response Shame and embarrassment Feelings of “paranoia”
Confusion & disbelief Reluctance to report Challenges in relationships, divorce Fear Unsure of how to report, overwhelmed Loss of trust Alteration of Lifestyle and prior life responses Fear of recurrence Anxiety, depression, suicide Spiritual Questioning Merry

18 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 response?.....

19 Recap: Basic strategy Stop impostor activity Report the crime
Repair the damage Prepare for re-victimization

20 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

21 Part II: Response & Repair

22 Credit Reports How to read What it shows What it does not show
When to take further action Who to call for help

23 Anatomy of a Credit Report
Personal Information Public Records (financial) Credit History Inquiries or Credit History Requests Personal Statements/Fraud Alerts “Other”

24 What a Credit Report Does Not Show
Credit Reports show most financial information, but do not always include: 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

25 Repair

26 First Steps Obtain Credit Report from all 3 Credit Reporting Agencies(CRA) 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

27 Repair 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

28 Fraud Alerts 90 days Renewable for 7 years
Entitles victim to one free credit report Credit reporting agencies: Equifax: Experian: TransUnion: Creditors must take “reasonable steps” to verify one’s identity Cindy

29 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 Cindy

30 Dispute Letters Send to all 3 CRA’s
Fraud Department of ALL creditors that are inaccurate—even if account is in good standing

31 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

32 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

33 Sample Dispute Letters Available
Merry – also mention that FTC’s guide (to be discussed later) also has sample letters with all the things Hazel mentioned included in the sample letters. Access to Justice – Statewide Legal Services Websites Find your state’s here:

34 Return Letter Request Verification that:
Account is fraudulent and does not belong to victim 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 future

35 Blocking Once CRA accepts ID Theft report, it MUST
Block the fraudulent information within 4 business days Notify business of the block and ID Theft findings

36 Blocking Once business is notified of block, it MUST
Stop reporting info on that account to the CRA’s Must not sell or transfer debt for collections

37 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

38 Obtaining Documentation
Documents must be sent AT NO COST to victim within 30 days Law Enforcement may be able to obtain documents more quickly

39 Repairing Other Actions
Bankruptcy Investment Accounts Foreclosures Fraudulent Student Loans

40 Debt Collectors Tell the debt collector to stop calling as debt is due to ID Theft Ask that the account be flagged as ID Theft being disputed Write to the debt collector Include all info mentioned above Call and write to the initiating business

41 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)

42 Document All Actions DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
The most important thing any victim of ID Theft or person assisting a victim of ID Theft MUST do: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING Keep record of all calls, letters sent, reports files Copy everything Send s as follow up for phone calls so there is written documentation of conversation Request read receipts and a response from party ed verifying info included in your ALWAYS get the name and title of party speaking with Send Certified Mail

43 Questions?

44 Part III: Building your organization’s capacity to address the needs of identity theft victims Introduction – Josh 2 minutes Brief Recap -  Merry – 5 minutes Impact of ID Theft – Merry – 20 minutes Steps to Recover – Hazel – 45 minutes Building Capacity – Hazel – 10 minutes Resources – Merry – 5 minutes Conclusion and Q&A – Josh – 5 minutes

45 Tips Understand process before trying to lead victim through it
Establish contacts in community who will help Banks and Credit Unions Financial Advisors Credit Card Companies Attorneys (including “Legal Aid”)

46 Tips Consider Retired Volunteers Retired Bankers
Retired Fraud Investigators Retired Law Enforcement Retired Prosecutors Retired Attorneys Retired Business Owners Retired IRS Employees

47 Tips Do you have a grant that requires or allows volunteer hours as Matching Funds? You may be able to count “specialized volunteers” at a higher dollar per hour rate Win for your agency and Win for the victims

48 A Word About Criminal Enterprises
Identity Theft & Fraud have been directly linked to Global Organized Crime Activities including: Human Trafficking Drug Trade Terrorist Activities Known Terrorist Organizations

49 Questions?

50 Part IV: Advocate training tools, materials for clients, and other online resources

51 Advocates’ Handy Desk Guide

52 Lawyers’ Handy Desk Guide

53 Resources for your Clients & Outreach Materials

54 Alerts on Latest Fraud & Scams

55 A Support Network for Professionals Helping IDT Victims Merry

56 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 Merry

57 Finding Your State’s Laws & Resources
State Victim Resources (numbers, links) Security Freeze Law & State-Specific How To’s 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 Breaches

58 Online Interactive Training for Advocates

59 Resource Round Up FTC - OVC - NCVC Financial Crime Resource Center - National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network - AARP - Identity Theft Resource Center - Laura

60 Questions? 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

61 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. Josh -Checklists -ID Theft Webinar

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