RESOURCES FOR VICTIM SERVICE PROVIDERS, ADVOCATES & PROFESSIONALS
Raising the level of knowledge in professionals and advocates coming into contact with victims of identity theft and cybercrime is imperative to increasing the expertise and capacity of assistance available to these victims.
The below materials that will aid in increasing the knowledge and awareness of professionals and advocates engaging with and assisting victims of identity theft and cybercrime.
OVC Identity Theft Victim Assistance Online Training, Supporting Victims’ Financial and Emotional Recovery: This is a user-friendly e-learning tool developed by the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center. The training materials teach victim service professionals and allied professionals knowledge and skills to more effectively serve victims of identity theft and assist with their financial and emotional recovery.
This 40 hour, intensive, interactive training features:
- A wealth of information about the various types of identity theft, laws that support victims’ rights, as well as referral agency and resource information to better serve victims of identity theft.
- Engaging case studies to provide victim advocates with opportunities to interact with victims of identity theft through the path to recovery.
- Online availability 24/7; save and return later to complete at your leisure.
This ten-minute video features advice from FTC leaders, law enforcement, and victims on how to deter, detect, and defend against identity theft.
This guide was developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help attorneys and victim service providers chart their way through and resolve legal problems that pro bono clients may have following the theft of their identity. The guide explains:
- Common types of identity theft
- The impact of identity theft on clients
- The tools available for restoring victims to their pre-crime status.
Specifically, the Guide highlights the rights and remedies available to identity theft victims under federal laws, most notably:
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)
- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA).
It also includes information and materials published by other organizations that address less other forms of identity theft, such as medical or employment related identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission has developed several publications that advocates and allied professionals can use to engage their community and educate on types of identity theft and tools available to assist in recovering from identity theft.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and a roundtable of other groups including NITVAN joined forces to develop Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud.
When fraud occurs, victims are left to cope with the aftermath of compromised identities, damaged credit, and financial loss, and a painful range of emotions including anger, fear, and frustration. This guide gives victim advocates a roadmap for how to respond in the wake of a financial crime, from determining the type of fraud to reporting it to the proper authorities. The guide also includes case management tools for advocates, starting with setting reasonable expectations of recovery and managing the emotional fallout of financial fraud. Our hope is that this guide will empower victim advocates, law enforcement, regulators, and a wide range of community professionals to capably assist financial victims with rebuilding their lives.
This guide includes a section specifically on identity theft and can be ordered, in large or small quantities, free of charge.
When an identity thief uses a victim’s identity when arrested, charged with a crime or given a traffic ticket; that criminal activity could show up on the victim’s criminal history, result in warrants in the victim’s name and cause the victim’s life to be upended. The victim of this form of ID theft may even end up being arrested for a crime someone else committed. Often these crimes are committed in a state the victim does not live in and may never have even visited.
Assisting crime victims in challenging those records and clearing them can be difficult. This is especially true because each state has its own way of doing the record challenge, and it is handled by different law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
The Victim Assistance Program with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Identity Theft Investigations Unit has created an interactive map that includes information from all 50 states and Washington DC regarding the record challenge process. Visitors to the site will find contact information, instructions, lists of required documents and other critical information that will make the record challenge process less stressful for crime victims and those who wish to help them.
The National Organization for Victim Assistance developed the Project AWARE, Cyber Safety Sense: Cyber Safety and Identity Theft Victim Assistance Training. The program is a one day training on cyber safety and identity theft—its economic, personal and employment impacts. Cyber fraud victimization can be complex and challenge every area of the justice system in protecting communities and addressing victimization.
NITVAN webinar on Cyber Security and Identity Theft Victimization
Guest speaker Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. Mr. Kaiser discusses cybercrime, the nation’s cyber infrastructure, how consumers can manage their data, and what steps victims of cybercrime can take to mitigate their situation.
Developing Training and Facilitation Skills
An important aspect of disseminating information is being able to facilitate the training or presentation and create an engaging environment. Facilitation is a key asset whether the goal is to enhance internal expertise, hold an effective team meeting, or to educate and increase awareness within your community. Being able to lead a training/presentation aids the facilitator in guiding discussion and encouraging participant involvement. This creates a meaningful experience and fosters a sense of investment in the material presented, instilling confidence to put the information into action.
Below are some materials developed by the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center that provide guidance and training in developing or enhancing training/ facilitation skills.
These seven narrated modules address:
- Differences between facilitating and presenting
- Facilitator responsibilities
- How to facilitate a successful training.
- How to build consensus and resolve conflicts.
- How to facilitate, debrief, and summarize training activities.
This manual includes useful information for all trainers:ebreaker and introductory activities
- Closing activities
- Techniques for dividing groups and for selecting a recorder and reporter
- Tips for using audiovisual aids.
Resources to Engage Spanish Speaking Audiences
Per the 2014 Bureau of Justice Statics Victims of Identity Theft, 1.7 million victims age 16 or older were Hispanic/Latino. This clearly demonstrates a need for services within this demographic. Consider partnering with organizations that aid Hispanic populations to increase capacity and expertise within your community/region.
The Federal Trade Commission provides free information (including pamphlets that can be ordered free of charge) for Spanish speaking audiences to educate and spread awareness on identity theft, cybercrime, and what steps to take if you become a victim.
IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft (Español)
The IRS combats tax-related identity theft with an aggressive strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. This guide can assist Spanish speaking audiences in resolving tax-related identity theft.