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News

Assistance landmark reached for ITAC

Identity Theft Assistance Centre : 15 September, 2008  (Company News)
Four years since being set up, the Identity theft assistance centre has helped its 40000th victim of identity theft
ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Centre, helped its 40,000th victim in its four years of operation, winning praise from law enforcement and financial services companies for its innovative approach to fighting identity theft.

ITAC, a nonprofit coalition of financial services companies united in their commitment to protect customers from identity theft, provides the Federal Trade Commission and US Postal Inspection Service with victim information used to investigate identity crime.

"ITAC provides a vital exchange of intelligence that helps Postal Inspectors aggressively pursue and catch these thieves," said Alexander Lazaroff, Chief Postal Inspector, United States Postal Inspection Service. "The evidence we receive from ITAC is shared with prosecutors so that justice is served."

Postal inspectors used ITAC data to arrest a suspect in Dallas last February. The suspect and a companion used the personal information of over 70 victims to receive credit cards, bank accounts, and drivers' licenses through the mail. The couple charged thousands of dollars to the credit cards they obtained by opening a fictitious merchant account. The suspect was sentenced to 34 months in prison and ordered to pay almost $400,000 in restitution.

"ITAC is a success story of private and public sector partnerships," said ITAC board member Kevin J. Lampeter, EVP and Chief Security and Fraud Officer, HSBC-North America, which is an active member of ITAC. "By sharing information and coordinating resources with financial services companies and law enforcement agencies, ITAC has been able to help customers identify and prevent fraud effectively and minimize their financial damages."

The 40,000th victim helped by ITAC was a 48-year-old business man from Dallas who was notified by his bank that two accounts had been opened in his name. The bank determined he was a victim of identity theft and referred him to an ITAC agent, who discovered that the thief also had run up $3,000 in charges on one of his existing credit cards.

"It's great to know there's somebody out there on our side fighting back. The fact that it's a free service is really remarkable," according to the victim.

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