EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., April 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has declared the week of April 24 as "Identity Theft Awareness Week", state law enforcement officials heard the latest about identity theft crimes from the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA) and LifeLock, the industry leader in proactive identity theft protection. The free Identity Theft Summit was hosted by ITT Technical Institute in Eden Prairie with 57 attendees from 30 different agencies learning about the latest criminal activity and investigative techniques.
The all-day program was the 57th free law enforcement summit conducted by LifeLock to provide agents with investigative tools and techniques to best work identity theft cases.
According to the latest report from the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Network, the state of Minnesota ranked 36th in the nation for identity theft complaints in 2010. Though no Minnesota metropolitan area ranked among the worst U.S. cities, law enforcement agents attending the class have seen very little downtrend in the number of identity theft cases through the first four months of this year.
"There is no question that identity theft changes its appearance throughout the U.S., however in Minnesota, it appears that cops are working just about every form of the crime that exists," said Tom Stone, Executive Director of FBI-LEEDA. "This summit will really help those in attendance since many of the participants are able to see how criminals commit these crimes and the tools they use to do so. From check washing to online account hijacking, thieves are evolving with increasing sophistication. No one can expect law enforcement to investigate this crime and make a large number or arrests if the men and women responsible for doing so do not have the latest information about the crime."
Some of the Minnesota law enforcement in attendance commented on how this crime provides a high level of frustration, and at times, departments can receive an overwhelming number of complaints and offer little hope of making an arrest. The class also heard cases about identity theft where existing accounts are being accessed while victims have not surrendered control of those cards, a case of skimming. Stories about theft through change of address, employment and fraudulent tax returns were also shared.
"I have been investigating this crime in Florida for nearly 25 years and it's difficult to pinpoint since the criminals can strike at anytime and from anywhere," said summit instructor Wayne Ivey. "Law enforcement needs a deeper understanding of this crime in order to investigate cases better, faster and make more arrests. These summits provide that knowledge, as well as a support network which includes additional law enforcement agents throughout the U.S."
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LifeLock, Inc. is an industry leader in identity theft protection. Since 2005, LifeLock has been relentlessly protecting identities by providing consumers with the tools and confidence they need to help protect themselves from identity theft and manage their credit. The company has a strong focus on educating consumers and working with law enforcement and elected officials to better understand the increasing threats of identity theft. A multiple award-winning organization, LifeLock has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as the eighth fastest growing private company (2010), by Arizona Corporate Excellence as Arizona's Fastest Growing Company, and by the American Business Awards as having the Best New Product or Service of the Year for the LifeLock Identity Alert® system.
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