WASHINGTON (1/30/09)--The Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) helped its 50,000th customer this month. ITAC's chosen service provider is Intersections, which is a CUNA Strategic Services provider. ITAC’s victim assistance service, which helps consumers recover from identity theft, is available at no cost to consumers who have an account at an ITAC member company. “Consumers are facing hardships right now, but identity theft doesn’t have to be one of them,” said ITAC President Anne Wallace, adding “ITAC’s companies are here to help.” The milestone customer was a 45-year-old doctor from Virginia who left his credit card at a gas station. The incident resulted in account takeover--when a criminal uses account information without the account holder’s knowledge. The doctor’s financial institution referred the case to ITAC, where a trained agent alerted the doctor to other suspicious activity. One client noted that customers want to talk to a real person, someone who understands identity theft. As part of its mission, ITAC shares victim data with the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement agencies to help them investigate and prosecute identity crime.