OPERATION STOP IT! UNITING LAW ENFORCEMENT WITH COMMUNITIES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT
WALNUT CREEK CA, September 7th 2017: With identity theft now at its highest levels, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Identity Theft Council, the Identity Theft Resource Center and nearly a dozen national partners today announced the launch of Operation Stop IT! – Stop Identity Theft – a major national initiative to find more effective ways to combat identity theft, support victims, and assist communities.
More than 15 million people were victims of identity theft in 2016, according to a February 2017 study from Javelin Strategy and Research. That’s the highest number of victims in one year on record, 2 million more than the previous year, and a clear sign that identity thieves are able to adapt to the latest security.
“Identity theft doesn’t just touch every community, it’s connected to so many other crimes in our communities including burglary, car theft, drug abuse, even gang activity,” said Donald De Lucca, President of the IACP and Chief of the Doral, Florida, Police Department. “By focusing on education and support, law enforcement can help reduce the prevalence of this crime, improve the outcome for victims, and build stronger community partnerships.”
Operation Stop IT! was created to help bring law enforcement and communities together to educate consumers about the risks and consequences of identity theft, and will provide diverse U.S. and local programming, such as:
- A U.S.-wide support network for victims of identity theft that will connect victims with each other and with counselors and experts for support and guidance.
- Promoting the importance of “Prevention through Education” as a way to help consumers make smart decisions about their identity and security.
- Partnering local law enforcement with their local communities to combat identity theft where it happens.
“I applaud the leadership of the IACP in taking on this challenging and pervasive crime,” said Neal O’Farrell, Executive Director of the Identity Theft Council. “Helping their communities avoid identity theft and supporting victims through recovery is an important part of law enforcement’s role in responding to these crimes.”
The growth in identity theft is being fuelled by the surge in data breaches, with more than 800 reported in the first six month of 2017, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. And almost 1.4 billion data records compromised worldwide in 2016 alone, according to security firm Gemalto.
“The ITRC is very pleased to be a partner in an important national effort that engages and supports all stakeholders in the fight against identity theft,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “This initiative will provide essential tools to Law Enforcement, such as the ITRC ID Theft Help App, and no-cost direct services to victims in need. “
Operation Stop IT! Is supported by a growing number of national leaders committed to combating identity theft, including the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the American Bankers Association (ABA), the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Civic, Transunion and others.
"Civic is proud to be a foundational partner and technology provider for Operation Stop IT!, said Vinny Lingham, founder and CEO of Civic Technologies, one of the sponsors of Operation Stop IT!. “Their vision aligns with our company values of making consumer identity protection affordable and available to everyone."
“We are excited to partner with Operation Stop IT! to help consumers detect, protect against and recover from identity theft ,” said Heather Battison, vice president at TransUnion, a leading global provider of information solutions, including identity theft protection. “We are inspired by the Identity Theft Council’s commitment to bringing law enforcement, communities and private stakeholders together to support this vital mission.”
About the IACP
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a professional association for law enforcement nationwide. For more than 120 years, the IACP has been launching internationally acclaimed programs, speaking on behalf of law enforcement, conducting groundbreaking research, and providing exemplary programs and services to members across the globe.
Today, the IACP continues to be recognized as a leader in these areas. By maximizing the collective efforts of the membership, IACP actively supports law enforcement through advocacy, outreach, education, and programs.
Through ongoing strategic partnerships across the public safety spectrum, the IACP provide members with resources and support in all aspects of law enforcement policy and operations. These tools help members perform their jobs effectively, efficiently, and safely while also educating the public on the role of law enforcement to help build sustainable community relations.
About Operation Stop IT!
Operation Stop IT! - Stop Identity Theft - represents the biggest response to identity theft in law enforcement history and a national partnership led by the nation’s Chiefs of Police with a goal of finding more effective ways to combat identity, reach and educate communities, and support victims. Partners in the initiative include the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Identity Theft Council, and the Identity Theft Resource center, supported by the Credit Union National Association, the American Bankers Association, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and sponsored by Civic Technologies and Transunion.