CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Identity theft is a growing crime. Millions of Americans are impacted each year. More and more often law enforcement is being called in to help handle the cases.
LifeLock, an identity theft company, has teamed up with the FBI to present a series of summits across the country to bring law enforcement up to date on the latest in cyber crimes.
Paige Hanson is the director of Lifelock’s Education Program and was in Charleston Friday where 55 police officers, deputies and detectives from 15 different agencies gathered to learn more about the ins and out of identity theft at the Charleston Civic Center.
“It really brings them the hands-on tools and resources that they need to combat the crime locally,” explained Hanson.
Unless you’ve graduated from the police academy in the past few years or received some new training, most law enforcement officers don’t have a lot of knowledge about identity theft and how to investigate it. That’s what the LifeLock program is all about teaching law enforcement the basics and connecting them to other departments across the country.
“They have access to a networking document or portal that will allow them now to have contacts throughout the United States and hopefully combat this crime going through different states, different jurisdictions and having those networking contacts,” stressed Hanson.
West Virginia is the 49th state to receive the free training. She said, once officers know a bit about the crime, they can pass on their knowledge to the public.
“We’re going to give them a number, of different, places where they can actually get free materials and presentations,” according to Hanson. “So now if a community group needs a presentation or, at least, a few pamphlets on identity theft, they’ll be able to provide those resources.”
The Federal Trade Commission has listed identity theft the number one consumer reported crime in the U.S. for the 14th year in a row.