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Understanding victims of identity theft


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Dutch Identity theft support office. Findings based on more than two years\' experience of helping victims of identity theft. Engish language.

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Understanding victims of identity theft

  1. 1. Identity theft Victims Support Office in the Netherlands In Dutch: Centraal Meld- en informatiepunt Identiteitsfraude en –fouten (CMI) Help! I’m a victim of identity theft! Michel Savelkoul Understanding victims of identity theft Sure. That’s what they all say.
  2. 2. The crime and its enabler: identity theft & identity fraud Villain Victim of crime Crime: fraud, forgery, drugs farming, etc etc (to be found in penal law) Victim of IDtheft Identity fraud . ( committing fraud with other’s identifiction ) Identity theft . ( stealing/creating identifying data )
  3. 3. So what is the victim’s problem? <ul><li>The victim of identity theft/fraud: </li></ul><ul><li>is usually not involved in the crime </li></ul><ul><li>nor has the victim any knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>until he/she gets the blame </li></ul><ul><li>and is confronted with the consequences of the crime </li></ul>
  4. 4. Identity theft victims are facing: <ul><li>1. Urgent problem </li></ul><ul><li>Collection agency at your door, getting arrested, summons, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Victim support: providing necessary steps, guidance. </li></ul>2. Unknown problem Unknown cause and/or perpetrator + will he/she strike again and how? Victim support: engaging the ECID, centre of expertise of Police and Military Police. Victim reports to police. Start of research. 3. Unknown consequences Accumulating errors in databases and supply chains Victim support: engaging supply chains to restore errors and prevent further problems for victim. (By far the most challenging aspect in victim support!) 4. Prevention How to protect from 1) further identity theft, and 2) further problems from the current theft? Victim support: providing necessary steps
  5. 5. RDW (driving license & car registration) Prosecution Ministry Security & Justice Local Government’s association of Citizen Registration Ministry Interior (passports) … and any other useful agency not included in covenant. The identity theft support office Immigration office Justice MatchingAuthority Case Manager Central Government Contact point Military police Police Centre of Expertise
  6. 6. Coverage of the ID theft support office <ul><li>We get: 101 crime </li></ul><ul><li>One on one fraud. Part of large and organized crime or accidental/individual crime (opportunity in the wrong hands). </li></ul><ul><li>Victims are confronted with consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t get: distant cases of organized crime </li></ul><ul><li>Distant and massive fraud. (Organized illegal collection of data, forgering documents, laundrying money, international trafficing drugs or people, mass creditcard fraud, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Crime victims propably are not aware of . </li></ul>We know : modus operandi, vulnerable sectors, consequences We don’t know : size. IDfraud is not labeled as such. IDtheft sometimes is labeled (creditcards, number plates, documents).
  7. 7. Challenges for public policy (1) Causes: bad awareness, even worse control Awareness: Research shows that people are ignorant about IDtheft. Simple prevention is not applied. Control: Vulnerable private sector industries have no incentives to prevent fraud with identifying data of docs. Is this a government matter? Is THIS a government matter? (Proving market failure etc)
  8. 8. Challenges for public policy (2) Standard Procedures Consequences: too little correction mechanisms in organizations and supply chains “ We did nothing wrong. We followed the procedure!” “ We have no fraud problem. We have no record of fraud. We don’t register fraud.” “ The law does not allow us to correct errors. Yes, that’s inconvenient.” “ In this supply chain something clearly went wrong. But it wasn’t us.” Supply chains are designed exclusively for standardized mass cases. Individual errors often get the ‘Teflon treatment’.
  9. 9. So… <ul><li>People are ignorant. </li></ul><ul><li>Parts of the private sector openly accept copies, fake data, etc. or require no identifying data at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Government ID management policy is focusing on the public sector. </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on victims is high. Still, they remain unheard. </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences for victims are often unclear, both for the victim and the organizations involved. </li></ul>The victim support office helps solving individual cases. The growing number of cases feeds future policy measurements. So… To be continued.