When someone discovers that they have become a victim of identity theft, it is often shocking and unnerving. This is the point at which the Identity Theft Resource Center comes into contact with victims. Often victims feel wronged and that this situation was not their fault. They want someone to fix the problem, and quickly. Unfortunately, as much as the advisors at the ITRC wish they could make a phone call and clear the whole thing up, we can’t. The truth is, there are very few people who can help clear up a case of identity theft except for the victims themselves.
There are cases when an individual may have Power of Attorney, that they are able to rectify an entire case of identity theft for a victim. Parents are also able to clear up cases for their children, should their children become victims of identity theft. However, in most cases the victims is the one who has to spend the time and energy in order to get their identity theft cleared up. Once a victim realizes that there is no magic phone call or website that will fix their situation is when the ITRC becomes the most helpful. For victims who have been trying to clear up their identity theft for some time by themselves, are often amazed at the amount of information and resources we have available to the public.
What we do offer to victims of identity theft is a resource of knowledge, documents and contact information. The ITRC has a toll free phone number ( 1 (888) 400-5530) which will connect victims and/or potential victims to a trained Victim Advisor. Each Victim Advisor is trained to help callers walk through the entire process of rectifying their identity. We see a lot of very different situations in the ITRC call center, some much more complex than others. Each call is handled in individual fashion starting with a review of what a victim has experienced, how they discovered that they had become a victim and what they have done so far. From there, a Victim Advisor will tell a victim how to help themselves, step by step.
Some steps will require documents such as letters or confirmations. The ITRC website has templates for most of these documents. Victim Advisors also have access to those documents in both electronic and hard copy. A victim can be emailed the documents they will need for their case or, if no one email is available, a hard copy can be mailed out to the victim. These documents save the victim the time and frustration it would take a victim to not only create the documents, but if they had sent in an incorrect document.
The ITRC Victim Advisors have seen it all when it comes to identity theft. Often times when a victim is sure they have hit a wall, an Advisor will have the answer which will get their case moving again. Besides all of the aforementioned support available for victims of Identity theft, the ITRC Victim Advisors serve another important purpose. They offer the emotional support victims so badly need when they are fearful and frustrated with what they are going through. Almost all of our Victim Advisors have been victims of identity theft themselves and their sense of empathy is second to none. In the end, while the ITRC may have a rather wordy mission statement, at the end of the day, it is all about making the lives of the people we help better.