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Nicole M. Robinson

2011 Special Courage Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Nicole M. Robinson | Special Courage Award
Identity Theft Resource Center
Clinton, Maryland

In 2000, Nicole Robinson became the victim of identity theft; 10 years later, she is still fighting to regain her good credit and reputation. 

At the time of her victimization, Ms. Robinson, a single mother with a demanding job, feared that she would have to pay mounting debt that was not hers or worse, would not be able to provide financially for herself and her daughter. Despite her fears, in 2000, almost immediately after her victimization, Ms. Robinson testified on a victim impact panel before the Federal Trade Commission. She then began participating in focus groups and speaking to the media to raise awareness about the devastating impact of identity theft; she even appeared in training videos on the topic. 

As a result of her efforts, significant strides were made in the government and business community’s response to identity theft. Ms. Robinson’s willingness to share her experience publicly was an act of courage during a time when most victims of identity theft were afraid to speak out. 

Identity theft victims are often embarrassed and afraid of the reactions of coworkers, family, and even employers, who may fear employees will take too much time off of work to resolve issues related to their crime. In the beginning, Ms. Robinson felt alone; few people could understand the depth of her despair, the details of her case, her sense of powerlessness, or the repeated torment she experienced whenever the perpetrator committed another crime using her identity. 

Despite her complex case and the emotional turmoil she continues to endure, Ms. Robinson does whatever she can to help people understand the impact of identity theft. She continues to volunteer at the Identity Theft Resource Center where she provides ongoing emotional support and needed resources to victims of identity theft. Ms. Robinson was nominated by Linda Foley, cofounder, Identity Theft Resource Center.