8.3 million Americans become identity theft victims each year. Legal resources available to identity theft victims are limited. To help respond to the need, the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) – a national network of coalitions around the country supported by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice – along with partners at Kansas Legal Services and Pro Bono Net, have created & launched an online A2J Author and A2J Guided Interview assistance package for victims of identity theft.
The A2J Guided Interview for victims of identity theft is a user-friendly online tool that asks questions of victims in plain language, and subsequently assembles that information into letters to help the victim resolve identity theft issues. The victim then prints and mails the appropriate letter to a creditor, debt collector, or a credit reporting bureau, in order to inform them of the identity theft and assert their associated rights. The letters mirror those created by the Federal Trade Commission. In addition to creating letters, the assistance also includes information about options victims have in recovering from the crime, as well as links to helpful resources.
As of this release, eight states have come online, including:
- Arizona – azlawhelp.org/articles_info.cfm?mc=22&sc=102&articleid=209
- Idaho – idaholegalaid.org/IdentityTheftPortal/Dealing_With_ID_Theft
- Kansas – kansaslegalservices.org/node/1523
- Maryland – peoples-law.org/node/3338
- Minnesota – lawhelpmn.org/resource/writing-identity-theft-letters-do-it-yourself
- South Carolina – lawhelp.org/documents/clusters/SC/567/English/idtheftforms.shtml
- Texas – texaslawhelp.org/resource/identity-theft-interactive-interviews
- Washington – washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/identity-theft-self-help-form-letters
NITVAN and this initiative are partly made possible through funding from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Each multidisciplinary regional or statewide coalition within the national network is dedicated to improving the community’s response to victims of identity theft. The purposes of the coalitions are to create, enhance and deliver identity theft victim assistance training and outreach to improve the ability of its members to provide direct victim assistance services. Find out more at identitytheftnetwork.org.