Identity Theft Anyone? How the ITRC Call Center and Other Resources Help Victims In Need

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Anyone3 ITRCThe ITRC has been educating consumers about the real risk of identity theft since 1999. One of the notions that the general public has is that identity theft can’t or won’t happen to them. There are a variety of reasons that people will cite, such as “I don’t have good credit,” “my identity isn’t worth stealing,” and “I don’t make enough money to be an attractive target.”

While these sound like logical reasons, the fact is that your identity can be valuable outside of just the financial realm. You don’t have to have good credit or a high income to become a victim.

The other common misconception is around internal usage and behavior. It is true that individuals who are highly active online and highly engaged in using new technology (downloading the newest apps, and regularly communicating through social media) will have a higher risk. It is not true, however, that not using the Internet will eliminate your risk altogether.

Short of being independently wealthy and living on cash stuffed under your mattress, you cannot escape having your information present in online databases.

If you are employed, your employer and the payroll service they use have it. If you filed your taxes using a tax preparer, they have it. The point is, it’s already out there. Yes, you can minimize your risk by stemming the tide and not giving the information to everyone who requests it, but to believe that just because you don’t use online banking or have a smartphone you are “safe” is giving you a false sense of security.

Everyone Is At Risk

As you can see, anyone can become a victim of identity theft. We don’t take this position only because we have analyzed the statistics and findings from many reputable sources, such as the FTC, BJS, Javelin, etc.

We also don’t take this position solely because of the advisors here who help other victims and/or have themselves been victims (and certainly thought it wouldn’t happen to them!).

We take this position because we have boots on the ground. We have a call center that assists victims daily, and many of them tell us that they just never thought they were at risk, or they were vulnerable to this crime.

The call center is available to help anyone in need. You do not have to reside in a certain state, use a certain financial institution, or carry a specific credit card. We are available to help anyone who calls in, whether it’s a victim who needs help resolving their case, or a concerned consumer who has suffered some kind of exposure or breach.

The Anyone3 Campaign Launches

Recently, we have begun communicating with the public to let them know that anyone can make a difference. Hence the birth of our Anyone3 campaign. This campaign is different because it is not only about what the ITRC will do you for you, but what you can do for the ITRC. It stems from a great need that we at the ITRC have: support from the public in order to keep providing our services for free.

The demand for the ITRC services has increased dramatically. Now that the public has a heightened awareness of data breach issues in particular, they are becoming more aware of the need for genuine advice from a trustworthy source. They have turned to us. In fact, in one month in 2013 our call center volume increased by 83% over the same month the previous year.

The Anyone3 campaign has been launched to further inform consumers regarding the true risk of identity theft and with one new victim every three seconds, that risk is real. We are turning back to that same public that we have been assisting and asking for their help.

Please visit the Anyone3 page to learn more about how prevalent this crime is, and how our services are available to help. And if you find the information and services useful, please consider making a donation to support us, so that we may continue to meet our long-term goal. That goal is that no victim or concerned consumer feels that they are left to their own devices to figure out how to fix this complicated problem — if and when they encounter it. Remember, you are not alone.

 

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Eva Velasquez

Eva Velasquez is the President/CEO at the Identity Theft Resource Center, a non-profit organization which serves victims of identity theft. Velasquez previously served as the Vice President of Operations for the San Diego Better Business Bureau and spent 21 years at the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. Eva has a passion for consumer protection and privacy issues and is constantly striving to educate the public about these important topics. She is recognized as a nationwide expert on identity theft and has recently been featured on the Ricki Lake show and MORE magazine, as well as numerous other outlets.