Education, Outreach, and Training
Identity theft is of urgent concern to businesses and financial institutions who are also victims, to police or other public officials who protect and advise victims, and to government agencies and criminal justice personnel who must devote resources to investigate and prosecute identity theft cases. OVC sponsors education, outreach, and training to help these professionals help victims of identity theft.
Education and Outreach
OVC conducts many activities to raise awareness of identity theft issues and address needs in the victim assistance field. Listed below are some highlights from the past 2 years:
- OVC has worked closely with the Bureau of Justice Statistics to update its National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to include a new series of questions about identity theft. (A major source of national statistics on criminal victimization, the NCVS had not tracked national patterns of the relatively new crime of identity theft until recently. (See Recent Releases.) The survey results will be released in 2006.
- In February 2005, OVC participated on an expert panel that briefed congressional staff about identity theft's impact on victims and where to refer victims who contact their offices for assistance.
- During National Consumer Protection Week, OVC hosted a live Web Forum on Identity Theft.
- OVC helped the National Criminal Justice Reference Service develop its comprehensive online resource, Spotlight on Identity Theft.
- OVC helped the National Criminal Justice Reference Service develop last year's winter edition of Justice Resource Update (winter 2005), which included a report on Ohio's Identity Theft Verification Passport Program. JRU also featured a reference to Identity Theft, a guide for police from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
- OVC helped the National Crime Prevention Council develop a national media campaign about identity theft that includes a PSA and guidebook featuring McGruff the Crime Dog®.
- In October 2004, OVC's Director John W. Gillis participated in the Federal Trade Commission's 2004 Hispanic Outreach Forum and Law Enforcement Workshop, which explored strategies to raise awareness within Hispanic communities about fraud-including identity theft-and to develop law enforcement collaborations to counter fraud targeting Hispanics. Read a Summary of the Proceedings.
OVC's Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) consultants deliver workshops or tailored trainings for victim service providers, law enforcement, or allied professionals at conferences or other events. For example, TTAC assisted in an FBI training on the impact of identity theft on victims. Workshops on identity theft have been held at events such as the National Organization for Victim Assistance Conference, the Indian Nations Conference, and Victims of Crime Act Administrator National Conferences. As a cosponsor of the National White Collar Crime Center's annual Economic Crime Summits, OVC presented a training track on assisting identity theft victims at three regional training sessions in 2005.
Requested training/support must meet TTAC criteria-see TTAC's Training and Technical Assistance Web page.