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The Council of Better Business Bureaus Joins the Identity Theft Council in the Fight Against Identity Theft in the U.S.

10/27/2010

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identity theft council

Arlington, VA – October 27, 2010 – The Council of Better Business Bureaus today announced that it has become an official supporter of the newly launched Identity Theft Council (ITC), one of the largest national community-based identity theft victim support and education initiatives.  The ITC is a non-profit, grassroots movement, aiming to find more effective ways to combat identity theft at a local level and to provide better long-term support for victims. The San Francisco Better Business Bureau will participate in the first regional launch of the ITC in San Francisco today and brings the support of the nationally-trusted non-profit organization to the partnership.

”The Identity Theft Council is an unprecedented coalition of national and community-based organizations who are taking on the challenge of fighting ID theft and helping victims recover from its devastating impact,” said Stephen A. Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “The Better Business Bureau is proud to be supporting this important grassroots initiative to help consumers fight fraud.”

The founder and executive director of the ITC, nationally renowned security expert Neal O’Farrell, has seen first-hand the many challenges that law enforcement agencies face when it comes to handling the hundreds of identity theft cases that come across their desks each day.  As a way to remove the burden from law enforcement and provide assistance to victims of identity theft, O’Farrell and founding partner Intersections Inc., established the ITC.

The ITC is creating a nationwide network of local partnerships between law enforcement, the financial industry, and community volunteers to provide hands-on support for victims of identity theft, help law enforcement provide a more coordinated response, and to improve education and awareness. The ITC’s first line of defense is its locally trained volunteer counselors; these individuals lead victims of identity theft through the response and recovery process. For more complex identity theft cases, ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, operated by Intersections Inc. on behalf of the Identity Theft Assistance Corporation, will provide additional outside support and recovery services.   The ITC is also providing police departments with free, specialized training they need to assist victims.

“The mission of the Identity Theft Council is to provide identity theft victims with greater long term support and recovery assistance in their local communities while helping to reduce the incidence of identity theft by improving local awareness and education,” said Neal O’Farrell. “We are thrilled that the Council of Better Business Bureaus has decided to join us in our efforts.”

In early 2010, the pilot program was implemented in more than two dozen cities and police departments across the San Francisco Bay Area including Hayward County, Alameda County and Contra Costa County. By the end of 2010, more than 100 cities and communities across northern California are expected to be participating in the ITC, creating a model and launch pad for Councils to form across the country. 

About the Identity Theft Council
Established in early 2010 in the San Francisco Bay area, the Identity Theft Council (ITC) is a non-profit, grassroots organization that provides identity theft victims with free, ongoing support and identity recovery assistance in their local communities. The Council is creating a nationwide network of local partnerships between law enforcement, the financial industry, and volunteers in local communities to provide hands-on support for victims of identity theft, help law enforcement provide a more coordinated response, and improve identity theft education and awareness community by community, across the country.

The Council was founded by security expert Neal O’Farrell with the support of local law enforcement in the San Francisco Bay area, and Intersections Inc. The Council is supported nationally by Intersections Inc, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), Elder Financial Protection Network (EFPN), and ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center. For more information or to become involved in the Identity Theft Council, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter @IDTheftCouncil or visit our blog.
 
About Better Business Bureau
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 65 million consumers rely on BBB Reliability Reports® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit www.bbb.org/us  for more information.

Press Contact for The Council of Better Business Bureaus     
Alison Southwick
703-247-9376
asouthwick@council.bbb.org

Press Contact for Identity Theft Council:
Michelle Schafer
Merritt Group Inc.
703-390-1525 (o)
703-403-6377 (c)
Schafer@merrittgrp.com

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