RIT Hosts U.S. Secret Service Conference on Identity Theft, June 16




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Identity theft is a crime that has exploded in the last decade, devastating lives and credit ratings, and leaving victims at a loss.

Next month, Rochester Institute of Technology and the U.S. Secret Service will host the daylong conference, Attacking Identity Theft Together. The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, in Ingle Auditorium of the Student Alumni Union on the RIT campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Representatives from the U.S. Secret Service office approached RIT’s Department of Criminal Justice in January about hosting the conference, says Thomas Castellano, chair of criminal justice.

Criminal justice adjunct professor Joseph Hennekey helped make the connection. An investigator in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Hennekey was recently assigned to a regional task force on electronic crime, spearheaded by the Secret Service.

The conference is designed to communicate to a wide audience. Experts from law enforcement and financial and private institutions will address different ways thieves steal identities and what consumers, law enforcement and financial institutions can do to combat it. Highlights will include a variety of presentations such as:

  • An identity crime video and CD-Rom resource guide by the U.S. Secret Service

  • Consumer education and the ID Theft Database by the Federal Trade Commission

  • Local prosecutorial efforts by the Department of Justice

  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service Resources and Consumer Awareness Initiative

  • The resources of financial institutions in responding to identity theft

  • Fraudulent document recognition in relation to drivers’ licenses and related issues from the Department of Motor Vehicles

    During the conference, RIT criminal justice students and members of SPARSA (Security Practices and Research Student Association) will present their related research in poster sessions in the SAU.

    “One of our major goals is to link our students with these law enforcement officials and corporate security personnel to develop stronger professional relations,” Castellano says. “This will help our students both in the short and long term.”

    The event is co-sponsored by RIT’s Department of Criminal Justice, College of Liberal Arts, Campus Safety and SPARSA.

    For more information, or to register for the conference, visit www.rit.edu/~crimjust/idtheft.html.