The Shop Tart is darned excited about today’s guest blogger. (She’s also darned excited about being at the beach, and having more time to enjoy it, thanks to said guest blogger!) Who is she? Veronica Swain-Kunz, CEO of the non-profit, SC Victim Assistance Network (SCVAN). If someone breaks into your house and shatters glass everywhere, SCVAN can help pay for the cleanup. When a child is molested in South Carolina, SCVAN works with the justice system to make sure crucial things don’t fall through the cracks. If some loser steals your credit card number and takes it across state lines, Veronica and her team can bridge the gap between each state’s law enforcement agencies — not an easy task for the layman.
She’s hosting a benefit luncheon with a pretty cool speaker this Friday at 701 Whaley, and you should go!
Catch Him If You Can: Lunch with the ultimate identity thief, Frank Abagnale, Jr.
“So, you help crime victims? Like, what kind of victims?”
At the SC Victim Assistance Network, we help people who have had their lives ruined by all types of crime: murder, human trafficking, arson, stalking – and identity theft, something that hits a little too close to home for South Carolinians these days.
Remember the big Steven Spielberg movie, Catch Me If You Can?
Frank Abagnale, Jr., played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was the ultimate identity thief, successfully posing as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician, in addition to cashing $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and in 26 foreign countries.
This Friday, September 6th at 701 Whaley, the man himself, Frank Abagnale, Jr. — now an FBI consultant — is donating his time to speak at a luncheon benefiting SCVAN. If you’d like to join us, tickets are $35 and available here.
The bad news: If you have ever filed taxes in South Carolina, you may have become a victim of identity theft last October. Clever hackers breached the SC Department of Revenue’s security, and now they have your name, address, social security number, and birthday, as well as that of your kids. What will those thieves do with all of our information? How long do we have to wait until we are safe? Unfortunately, the answer is this: Identity thieves have your information, and you can’t…ever…get that back.
Yeah. Identity theft is serious. It’s our nation’s fastest-growing crime, since it’s a great deal for criminals. It’s a very lucrative, low-risk crime. Identity thieves are hard to catch, and it ruins the lives of victims. That’s why SCVAN asked the world’s most famous (former) identity thief to discuss this issue of vital importance to all of us, as victims.
Over 40 years ago, Mr. Abagnale was known as one of the world’s most famous confidence men. Working with the FBI for the past 35 years, he is now known as one of the world’s most respected authorities on identity theft, forgery, embezzlement and secure documents.
He “pays it forward” by teaching and assisting law enforcement agencies (for free), and over 14,000 financial institutions and corporations now use his fraud prevention programs.
Proceeds from this benefit luncheon will help SCVAN continue our work to provide emergency funds, free lawyers, advocacy and resources to crime victims, and training to our state’s criminal justice community. At the luncheon, we will honor the late Assistant U.S. Attorney, Dean Eichelberger, who was instrumental in helping SCVAN develop our Statewide ID Theft Coalition.
Please join us for lunch this Friday and help SCVAN continue to help our state’s crime victims. If you need us down the line, we want to be there for you.
-by Veronica Swain-Kunz, CEO, SC Victim Assistance Network
Edited to add: The Shop Tart totally forgot she has two tickets to give away! She’ll be out of town and unable to attend. Her loss is your gain! Enter to win by leaving a comment below, any comment whatsoever. Just leave the comment by Thursday at 5 pm, k? Ready, set, go!
In today’s post…
- Catch Him If You Can: A Luncheon with Frank Abagnale, Jr., 701 Whaley Street, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, $35. Call 803-750-1200 ext. 111 for more information.
Happy Shopping and don’t forget to tell them you read it on the Shop Tart!