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Identity Theft Victim Recovery Starts with Local Law Enforcement Agencies

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 74 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2007 Pages: 18,20,22
Joanna Crane; Jennifer Leach
Date Published
December 2007
3 pages
After describing the content of a free CD-ROM developed specifically for law enforcement agencies in managing cases of identity theft, this article outlines the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) guidelines for victims in acting to prevent further victimization by the identity thief.
The CD-ROM, entitled "Fighting Identity Theft: A Law Enforcer's Resource," includes both advice on helping victims of identity theft and information helpful for ID theft investigators. The CD-ROM has a selection of sample letters that investigators and victims can use, such as letters to businesses requesting that they provide to the investigating agency and the victim, free of charge, all records related to the identity crime. The CD-ROM also contains a training kit that assists in developing a community outreach program on ID theft. The FTC has provided guidance for victims of identity theft. First, victims should place a fraud alert on their credit report by contacting one of three nationwide credit reporting companies. Second, compromised accounts should be closed immediately. Once credit reports have been received, they should be reviewed for other accounts that might need to be closed. Third, the ID theft should be reported to the FTC online or by phone call. A police report should be filed, and victims should ask the officer who receives the report to attach a copy of the FTC complaint form to the police report. Together, these steps restore the victim's credit report to its precrime status. The FTC will continue to seek opportunities to support law enforcement agencies while continuing to collect complaints and educate the public on avoiding ID theft.