Iowa public and private agencies that assist identity theft victims
are urged to use a new Victim Handout.
The Iowa Identity Theft Victim Assistance Coalition has unveiled a new Handout designed specifically for Iowa victims of identity theft. The Coalition is a public/nonprofit partnership of 21 Iowa law enforcement and other organizations.
Among other things, the Handout’s advice includes immediate steps victims should take such as reporting the problem to law enforcement. The Handout also covers longer-term actions victims should consider such as closely reviewing all future bills and financial account statements for signs of fraud.
Coalition Director Bill Brauch said that Coalition members wanted to provide advice that was short, thorough, and easy to understand. “Our members did a great job in designing the Handout. It’s already being used by our members throughout the state and we are actively promoting its use by others, including municipal police departments, the Iowa Area Agencies on Aging, constituent service offices of Iowa’s members of Congress, and others.”
Brauch noted that the Handout can be given to victims online or in person on a single, two-sided sheet. “This gets information into victims’ hands right away and gives them solid advice so they can start immediately doing what they need to do to clear up their accounts and records.”
Brauch said that the “immediate steps” include reporting the fraud to the company or agency where the fraud occurred. “Nothing is more important that preventing any losses right away,” Brauch said.
Brauch noted that the next step is vital. “Every identity theft victim needs to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) by going to www.Identitytheft.gov.” Brauch noted that the FTC’s website offers victims hands-on tools, including a victim report to present to law enforcement and to creditors, model form letters to send to lenders and credit card issuers, and further advice. Brauch noted another immediate step is for victims to file a report with their local police or sheriff’s offices.
After completing immediate steps, the Handout recommends victims:
“Victims often don’t know where to turn for help,” Brauch said. “Using the advice on the Coalition’s Handout will help them focus on the most important steps to take, and in the right order, so they can minimize the time and cost of recovering from identity theft.”
The members of the Iowa Identity Theft Victim Assistance Coalition include:
AARP Iowa, Children and Families of Iowa, Iowa Attorney General’s Office – Consumer Protection Division, Iowa Attorney General’s Office – Crime Victim Assistance Division, Iowa Bankers Association, Iowa County Attorneys Association, Iowa Credit Union Foundation, Iowa Department of Corrections - Office of Victim and Restorative Justice Programs, Iowa Department of Revenue, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, Iowa Insurance Division, Iowa Legal Aid, Iowa Office of the Chief Information Officer, Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance, Iowa State Bank, Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Polk County Attorney’s Association, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.
The Coalition was formed through a 2017 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Justice Assistance Programs, and is as part of the National Identity Theft Victim Assistance Network overseen by the Department of Justice. The grant establishing the Iowa Coalition was made to the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance, a non-profit organization that has been active since 1983 in advocating for the rights of Iowa crime victims.
Coalition Director Brauch retired in 2015 after 28 years as an Assistant Iowa Attorney General, the last 20 years as Director of the Iowa Attorney Generals’ Consumer Protection Division.
Identity Theft Victim Handout PDF
(The Coalition’s Website was produced by the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance under award #2016-XV-GX-K004, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.)
It’s New Year’s resolution time again. You may be planning to lose weight, get in shape, or firm up your finances. But here’s one resolution we should all follow – to better protect our privacy in 2019!
Resolving to do a better job protecting your privacy will not show up when you get on the scale, but the hidden benefits can be enormous. For example, who wouldn’t want to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft?
By following the simple steps below, you’ll be much less likely to fall victim to an identity thief. Resolve to:
This page was produced by the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance under award #2016-XV-GX-K004, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.