Request for Comments "Identity Theft Conference, Project No. P175400"
As an investigator for the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, I have been assigned many cases dealing with Identity Theft. The individuals served by the Board are particularly vulnerable. Often the individuals are unable to advocate for themselves and need assistance to maneuver through the criminal justice process. One particular road block we encounter is the Annual Credit Report. If the served individual is unable to articulate the request, customer service representatives block any communication from staff who are attempting to help them. If we are unable to help them, the credit report cannot be reviewed for breaches and sometimes no further action is taken. If the identity thief is known to the individual, the use of their personal information can continue unabated. We are a highly HIPAA compliant agency, but there are occasions when we must share information as permitted by the individual served and do so when there is a health and safety risk. There does not appear to be a mechanism in place at the three credit reporting agencies to allow for this sharing of information. We do work with law enforcement agencies when there is known crime, but sometimes we don't know until the credit report is reviewed. Furthermore, while our suburban police departments are more able to devote resources to help us, as recently as Fall 2016, the Cleveland Police Department had one Financial Crimes Unit detective on staff.