Identity Theft:

Protecting Yourself in the Information Age

With Mari Frank, Esq.

 

Mari J. Frank, Esq. Television Taping May 2004

 Santa Fe Ventures presents Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself in the Information Age for premiere on Public Television in December 2004 with rights granted to public television for a three-year period.

 

The Program

Our program which features attorney, author, lecturer and identity theft expert Mari Frank was shot in May 2004.  It is a 90-minute fund-raising lecture program and is scheduled to premier in the December 2004 public television pledge drive and is expected to air for three years.  Mari helps the public television viewers understand the growing risks of this exploding crime wave and provides real ways for them to protect themselves.   With our special membership incentives, we will provide helpful tools that viewers can use in their own home to monitor their identity and privacy and to take action if they become the victim of identity theft.

 

What The Live Audience Said About the Program Mari Presented:

 

ìEye-opening. Great combination of information and entertainmentî

ìExcellent presentationî

ìLoved itî

ìEnjoyed very much, I plan to share this information with friends and family.

ìVery well presented-not technical beyond my understanding, very plain English-thanksî

ìPersonal experiences and her case stories made the subject come alive-very important programî

ìGreat Presentation-current information about the high tech thiefí

ìThe Program was incredibly informative and I learned a lot, I ëm  very glad I came, it was a great experienceî.

ìScary, but great information and enlighteningî

ìIf I ever become a victim of identity theft, I am calling Mari ì

ìMari is a compelling speaker!î

ìVery well done-entertaining and important to usî

ìMari is personable, knowledgeable and entertainingî

ìVery worthwhile program, thank youî

ìWow! This program really opened my eyes!î

ìThank you ñ Iím going to get my credit report at least twice a year!

ìVery informative- very useful, we learned a lot!

ì I would not have wanted to miss this, very informative, factual, relevant, and great examplesî

 

Overview of the Program

 

Identity Theft shows the hundreds of ways we are vulnerable to invasion of privacy and identity theft each day. As more and more of our daily activities are facilitated, monitored, or controlled by computers and their databases, our identity is no longer simply our own bodies and ideas but the data about us that is stored on an increasing number of computers.  Our ability to keep information about ourselves private is evaporating.  The loss of our privacy means that people can easily find where we live, where (and when) we bank, eat, shop, and vacation.  Every time you get a parking ticket, buy an airplane ticket, make a hotel reservation, surf the internet, or use your cell phone ñ you are sending hidden codes that can lead to identity theft or worse.  You are providing potential thieves and stalkers information on how, when and where to get to you.  We are all at risk! In January 2004 the Federal Trade Commission reported that Identity theft was number one on the FTCís list of top 10 consumer complaints -- the fourth year in a row that identity theft has led the list.

ìThis is really scary stuff!  Iím so glad I came tonight.î

--Audience member at taping

 

Many of us now accept the fact that in the information age privacy is obsolete.  What we havenít fully grasped is how dangerous an invasion of our personal life can be. The opportunity for identity theft grows with each year:  in the workplace where access to our personal information has not been protected and ìdirty employeesî sell and otherwise misuse that data; in our mailboxes where 20 billion of those ìpre-approvedî credit card offers are mailed each year; and in our homes where what we throw out is easy pickings for identity thieves ñ and once it is in the trash, we no longer own or control it!

 

ÿ      A 21-year-old victim had someone on the other side of the country buy a home in her name and social security number when she was only three years old. When she was 21 it showed up (along with 70 bad debt accounts) on her credit report.

 

ÿ      A 40-year-old executive in Nebraska took several clients out to dinner and found that all of his credit cards were denied.  Upon returning home embarrassed and furious, he called the credit card companies to find that they cancelled his cards since his identity thief filed bankruptcy in Los Angeles- a place he had never even visited.

 

ÿ      A 33-year-old CPA traveled to her motherís funeral in Chicago. While passing through security, her purse was stolen.  Although she cancelled all credit cards, months later she received bills from a hospital for the birth of a baby that was born to her ìidentity thiefî.

 

ÿ      A 15-year-old victim went to get his driver's permit only to find that he had an 8-year criminal record. The perpetrator started using this child's name and social security number when he was only 7 years old.

 

ÿ      One of Mariís clients had his identity stolen by a sex offender and spent years overcoming the stigma in all aspects of his life.

 

ÿ      A 65-year-old victim who retired and went to draw her social security retirement benefits only to find that they'd been totally paid out to someone who'd used her name and social security number 15 years ago.

 

No one is immune from this crime, and these are not isolated cases.  Nationally, 9.9 million consumers reported that they were victims of identity theft last year. It is the fastest growing crime in America. Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself in the Information Age will help you recognize and protect yourself against the rising tide of privacy violations as information about your telephone, trash, financial information, mail, computer and home may be available to more people than you think.

 

I went out to buy a shredder the next day.  I never thought about my trash.

--Audience member from taping

 

Mari Frank will show public television viewers how to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their information.  She will show the simple but critical steps everyone should take to plug security leaks before they happen and to defend their rights as consumers if it does. She also gives helpful tips to curtail everyday privacy intrusions like junk mail, pre-approved credit card and financial offers and telemarketers.  Each of these innocuous events could eventually escalate into something much more sinister like identity theft, ruined credit ratings and the loss of personal safety.

 

This program will do for personal security and privacy what Suze Orman has done for personal finance on PBS.

 

Extended Materials

Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself in the Information Age will be in three acts with a basic lecture format augmented with case studies, interviews and re-creations.  The program as broadcast on public television stations across the country will include three breaks during which local public television stations will seek support from their audiences.  During these ìpledge breaksî stations will offer additional information to their audiences in return for a pledge of support to the station.  This additional information makes the public television pledge format unique in television in providing an overview program with access to a more detailed book or other information, a copy of the program with additional material not included in the program for the viewerís library.  In our case we will offer other tools that can help the viewer more completely protect herself or himself from the enormous problems that occur when oneís identity is stolen.

 

Identity Theft will show public television viewers how to protect themselves and their valuable information.  The additional information and pledge incentives associated with the program are designed to provide protection that everyone can easily and safely use. We are thrilled to present the following pledge items:

¸      Safeguard Your Identity: Protect Yourself with a Personal Privacy Audit By Mari J. Frank is a comprehensive paperback  book and audit that will help viewers identity their points of vulnerability and takes steps to guard themselves.

¸      From Victim to Victor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Ending the Nightmare of Identity Theft (Second Edition) and CD with Legal Letters.  Paperback, by Mari J Frank.

¸      Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself in the Information Age. The VHS/DVD of our broadcast program including bonus material not included in that program:  Mariís presentation on applicable laws and each personís role in advocating changes.

¸      The ID Theft Protection  and First Aid Kit includes:

o       Safeguard Your Identity: Protect Yourself with a Personal Privacy Audit by Mari Frank, Esq.

From Victim to Victor: A Step By Step Guide To Ending The Nightmare of Identity Theft with CD (which will play on Mac and PC computers with a step-by-step set of actions if your identity is stolen along with what you will need to move back in control: drafted letters along with addresses to send in the event of an ID fraud, logs to keep track of your progress and regain your identity)

    

o       Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself in the Information Age DVD

  Mari Frank is an attorney, mediator, speaker, author, professional trainer, and privacy consultant in private practice in Laguna Niguel, California. She has worked in the District Attorneyís Office, practiced law in insurance defense, and has had a general civil law practice. She has successfully resolved thousands of disputes as a mediator. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Frank is a university professor and has been a law professor.  She is a certified trainer for the State Bar of California. She received her BA from the University of Wisconsin (Madison), her Masters Degree from Hofstra University, and Law Degree from Western State University College of Law. She received her post law school negotiation and mediation certification from Mc George School of Law, Harvard Law School, and Pepperdine Law School.

As a privacy expert, Ms. Frank has authored the Identity Theft Survival Kit, From Victim to Victor, and Co-Authored Privacy Piracy. She has appeared on Dateline, 48 Hours, NBC, and ABC Nightly News, Investigative Reports, The OíReilly Factor, Connie Chung Tonight, and many other national television and almost 200 radio shows. She has been featured in the New York Times, The LA Times, U.S. News and World Report, Your Money Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and dozens of other national publications.

      Ms. Frank has testified several times before the U.S. Senate and the California Legislature, the FTC and the Social Security Administration and gave a speech at the White House with former President Bill Clinton in 1999 that was televised on C-Span. She is a Sheriff Reserve on the High Tech Crime Unit, in Orange County, California, serves on the advisory board of the State of California Office of Privacy Protection, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and the Identity Theft Resource Center. She provides consulting and presents training programs on privacy and identity theft to law enforcement, governmental agencies, and national corporations.

 Santa Fe Ventures, Inc., was founded in 1993 and has produced over 230 programs for national distribution on commercial and public television. The creation of original content with a dedication and commitment to quality programming is our main goal.  For a complete list of programs please visit our website www.santafeproductions.com.

 

 

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