On May 28, I held a forum on Identity Theft & Consumer Fraud at Roosevelt Hospital. I am grateful to the many constituents who attended and the panelists from the offices of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., as well as the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and the New York Better Business Bureau (BBB), who provided critical information about how we can protect ourselves and what to do if we are victims. In New York State alone, 82,289 people filed consumer fraud complaints last year. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.
Attendees left the forum with many important lessons, but one that really struck me was the need to eliminate the stigma borne by victims. It’s never the victim’s fault, and it’s extremely important that those who are victimized report all incidents of ID theft and consumer fraud to local law enforcement and government agencies as quickly as possible; it is estimated that in 2012, 32% of victims did not do so. For information on whom to contact if you are a victim of identity theft, you may download my brochures below on protecting yourself from identity theft and your rights as a consumer, or please call my office at (212) 633-8052 to request hard copies. I also encourage you to contact my office if you have been a victim of consumer fraud or identity theft and need assistance or have any questions.
We were also joined at the forum by a representative from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's Office of Unclaimed Funds, who helped more than a dozen individuals identify and submit claims for funds due to them. You may do your own search for lost money or funds you didn't know were owed to you by visiting the Comptroller's website here.