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ITRC Fact Sheet 114
The Identity Theft Evidence Trail
What Is Available and How Might It Help Victims and Law Enforcement

This guide includes:

Most victims agree – the burden of proving their innocence typically rests solidly on their shoulders. Many law enforcement agencies are receiving more budget money for financial crimes these days, allowing them to upgrade training and add staff, but they continue to struggle to keep up with their caseload.

In June 2004, the Cantwell/Enzi amendment of a federal bill called FACTA finally permitted ALL identity theft victims access to the credit applications and the transaction records in accounts opened fraudulently in their names. The reality is that once an account has been identified as fraudulent, the credit issuer must provide application and transaction information to you and to the designated police, as long as you send a police report with your request. That law is FCRA section 609(e).

Now that victims and their designated law enforcement agencies are being permitted access to documentation about their cases, such as photocopies of application forms, it is important to know what evidence is available and how it might help your case.

With this fact sheet, the ITRC is not encouraging any victim to take the law into his/her own hands. The primary investigator in a crime is, and needs to remain, law enforcement. Well-meaning victims can taint evidence, undo the work of weeks or months of an investigation, and undermine a case so much that the imposter, if caught, might be allowed to go free.

In our work with victims, we have found that many of us are unaware of what information is collected by credit card companies, utility companies, and merchants that can help law enforcement prove a case of identity theft. Again, we remind victims to coordinate their efforts with the investigator assigned to their case by law enforcement. Photocopies of all documents a victim is able to obtain should be turned over to his/her investigator immediately.


WHAT EVIDENCE IS OUT THERE?

Financial Identity Theft Cases

Criminal Identity Theft Cases

Identity Assumption - “Cloning” - Cases (where the imposter uses your information to create a new life for himself/herself)

HOW THIS INFORMATION FITS INTO AN INVESTIGATION

The above documentation can provide the following information that the victim and law enforcement can use to prove a case:

 

If you have any problems getting information, speak only with fraud investigators or supervisors who are the decision makers who can best help you.

 

This fact sheet should not be used in lieu of legal advice. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individual victims for their own use, should be directed toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..