Ohio State Attorney General, Mike DeWine, has announced the creation of an Identity Theft Unit to help victims repair their credit and other problems. As a part of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section, the Identity Theft Unit will offer two different ways for victims to receive assistance in resolving their issues.
The IRS has been dealing with an epidemic of tax fraud and identity theft. An audit report prepared by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) estimated that 940,000 tax returns involved identity theft in 2011. The same audit report estimates that in addition to those, another 1.5 million fraudulent tax returns may have been submitted but not detected by the IRS. Fortunately, in 2012 the IRS has been taking additional steps to help stem the flow of these fraudulent returns. In the TIGTA audit, several recommendations were made to the IRS, and IRS Commissioner of the Wage and Investment Division, Peggy Bogadi, provided details on how the IRS would act in response.
Tennessee's safety department is creating a new unit to investigate identity theft crimes that local law enforcement agencies don't have the time and resources to effectively investigate. The 14-person unit will include personnel from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security.
Identity theft is problematic across the nation, being ranked fourth in the country for reports of identity theft means that Arizona is no stranger to this crime. The Office of the Arizona Attorney General has been instrumental in combating this crime through the creation and collaboration of various organizations and state agencies.
Earlier this month members of the ITRC team, in an effort to promote greater education and unity of effort in the fight against identity theft, made a visit to Vancouver, BC, where Canada's newest non-profit organization, CITSC (Canadian Identity Theft Support Centre) is nearly ready to hard launch their victim assistance center. Much like the ITRC here in the States, CITSC is an organization whose primary objective is to provide no-cost assistance to victims of identity theft and financial fraud. The two organizations have been closely collaborating for several months in order to share intelligence and experience, to make CITSC's transition to a fully functioning national non-profit go more smoothly. While in Vancouver, ITRC representatives engaged with CITSC to complete live training exercises with actual victims.
Victims of Identity theft are confronted with a problem that is unique among victims of crime in the US. Unlike more traditional crimes, a victim of identity theft is forced to prove his or her innocence; not to one group or entity but to many. With identity theft, it will be assumed the victim is really the perpetrator until proven otherwise. As one tries to sort through the damage and clear their name, it is imperative that a victim knows the rights they have under the law, and where to go for legal resources and assistance in their efforts to get past this problem.