Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,500,000)
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) is proposing to enhance and expand its national hotline to respond to new threats and challenges for victims of identity fraud and cybercrimes. Last year, an estimated 49 million Americans were impacted by identity crimes, with $56 billion in losses – an increase from $16.9 billion in losses the prior year (2021 Identity Fraud Study: Shifting Angles; Javelin Research, 2020 Identity Fraud Study: Genesis of the Identity Fraud Crisis). The hotline will serve 37,200 victims through new or enhanced services, an increase of 24% over current service levels. In addition to expanding the hotline, ITRC will carry out the following: Develop new remediation plans for identity crimes and compromises, unemployment benefit-, stimulus-, and other pandemic-related identity fraud, as well as general identity scams and cybercrimes. Reduce the potential for harm and revictimization by developing risk minimization plans for emerging and new threats. Provide increased access to one-on-one victim support by integrating the ITRC’s live chat technology and hotline on websites and online portals of partner organizations (law enforcement and victims’ service agencies). Deliver 130 community outreach events in conjunction with partner organizations. Partner agencies include the New Mexico Attorney General's Office, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, The National Cyber Security Alliance, Better Business Bureau, Hawaii Department of Consumer Affairs, Consumer Action, the National Cyber Security Society, Interfaith Syrian Refugee Services, Deaf Community Services, and Blind Services Association. Provide resources to LEA/first responders and victim assistance service agencies to direct more victims to the national hotline. Improve access for high risk and vulnerable populations including individuals who are low vision/blind and deaf or hard of hearing, refugees, military personnel, seniors, and social media users. Launch a national marketing outreach campaign to reach victims through traditional and social media and internet advertising. Funds will directly cover costs for supporting, hiring and training national hotline victim advisors, delivering outreach and outreach events, building additional referral partners, updating and upgrading remediation guides, and expanding the national hotline resources.