Identity Theft Verification Passport Program
Not only does identity theft rob a victim of money and time, but it can also land that victim in court or even jail, falsely accused of crimes committed in his or her name. In a recent survey, 12 percent of respondents reported that warrants had been issued in the victim's name.* Victims may have difficulty proving to a company, agency, or credit bureau that they are the victim and not the perpetrator, even when a police report has been filed.
OVC has funded a demonstration program to help consumers avoid these problems and set the record straight-the Ohio Attorney General's Identity Theft Verification Passport Program. As of February 2005, Ohio victims of identity theft may apply for a "passport" after filing a police report. Using biometric and other technologies to create digital identifiers, the passport helps victims identify and/or defend themselves against fraudulent criminal charges, restore credit, and prevent further misuse of their personal information. The program also prevents duplicate entries of the victim's information.
The program has conducted more than 25 trainings for law enforcement, involving nearly 300 agencies and 600 officers. Program staff conducted presentations for victims in several Ohio cities during National Consumer Protection Week (February 6-12, 2005).
The National Institute of Justice is conducting an evaluation of the Ohio program. If the program proves to be effective, OVC anticipates working with other states that want to implement a passport program, if funding is available.
For more information, visit the Identity Theft Verification Passport Program Web site.
*See Identity Theft: The Aftermath 2004, Identity Theft Resource Center, September 2005: p. 8.