FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Partners with Identity Theft Council
Washington, D.C. (October 7, 2010)- The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today announced it has become a national partner of the Identity Theft Council, which provides identity theft victims with long-term support and recovery assistance in their local communities and works to reduce the incidence of identity theft through greater awareness and education.
"ICBA is proud to partner with the Identity Theft Council as yet another measure to help community bank customers learn how to protect themselves against the devastating effects of identity theft," said Jim MacPhee, ICBA chairman and CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank, Kalamazoo, Mich. "According to the latest research, more than 11 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2009. That's more than the total number of burglaries, attempted burglaries, petty thefts, purse snatchings, pickpocketings, arsons and auto thefts combined."
The Identity Theft Council is founded on a simple premise-that every community, no matter how small, has resources that can be harnessed to combat identity theft to help victims recover from the crime, to ease the burden on law enforcement and to provide education on how to avoid the crime. The council is in the process of creating a national network of local partnerships among law enforcement, the business community and local volunteers to provide support to victims in the communities where they live.
As a national partner of the Identity Theft Council, ICBA will help support the council's efforts, which include:
- providing victims of identity theft with free access to local experts and trained counselors to help victims recover.
- encouraging community bank employees to become trained volunteer identity theft counselors.
- providing law enforcement with free training and other resources so they can provide a more positive response to victims.
- spreading the "prevention through education" message to the broader community.
"Community banks can be active participants with us by encouraging their employees to get involved, including becoming trained counselors," said MacPhee. "We have the expertise to offer in our communities and provide a valuable community service."