IDT911 and First Star Team Up to Combat Foster Youth Identity Theft

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If you are a member of the media, or to schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact Corporate Communications by email at

Media Contacts:
Tony Berlin
Public Relations, IDT911

Robin Winston
West Coast Development Director, First Star
310-208-1000 x109

For Immediate Release

IDT911 and First Star Team Up to Combat Foster Youth Identity Theft

Company and charity join forces to deliver education, proactive support and fraud resolution services for foster youth vulnerable to identity theft issues   

Scottsdale, Ariz. - August 11, 2011

IDT911, the nation’s premier identity management and data risk management services provider, today announced that it has partnered with First Star, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of America’s abused and neglected children.  Together, the two organizations will provide education, proactive support and fraud resolution services to foster youth, a population particularly vulnerable to identity theft.

A shared passion for protecting and empowering young people brought IDT911 and First Star together.  IDT911 CEO, Matt Cullina is fully entrenched in foster youth identity theft issues from the perspective of research and market knowledge, as well as his personal experience as a foster parent.  Peter Samuelson, co-founder and president of First Star, is a media executive and social entrepreneur with a long history of advocating for children’s causes.  

While the problem of child identity theft continues to grow, foster youth are at greatest risk.  The Fleecing of Foster Children report, by The Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law and First Star, describes how parents, grandparents, family members, foster parents, social workers, group home personnel and others have abused their access to financial information about foster youth to pay bills, open credit cards, and even provide fraudulent information about criminal matters.  The foster youth usually does not see the marks on their credit report for years later when they have become emancipated from the system.

“Foster youth are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because of the transient nature of their lives,” said Cullina. “Being able to make a difference for these children through a partnership with Peter Samuelson and the team at First Star is an honor.  I am excited to work with a group so highly respected and I know we have a long road of achievement ahead.”

As their first joint initiative, First Star and IDT911 have united to help deliver a series of educational seminars to ninth grade foster children in the First Star UCLA Bruin Guardian Academy. Focused on basic life skills, including academics, financial literacy and identity management, Cullina and Samuelson designed the curriculum and are contributing their services pro bono.

“IDT911 are the leading Identity Management experts in the country and we are thrilled that they are working with First Star,” said Samuelson, who co-founded First Star with Sherry Quirk. “How on earth do we expect Foster Children aging out of the system to get a job or rent an apartment if a check shows ruined credit? No wonder one in three is homeless within two years!  What is this costing society over time in lives and in public money? We have the technology.  We need to apply it.  These are our children too.”

Cullina also has been an active contributor on the legislative front by working with Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin on a bill to protect foster youth from financial abuse.  On July 11, Cullina served as a panelist at the FTC forum for child identity theft, which highlighted issues in the foster care system.

To learn more about IDT911 and First Star, please visit and

About IDT911
Founded in 2003, IDT911 is the nation’s premier consultative provider of identity and data risk management, resolution and education services. The company serves 13 million households across the country and provides fraud solutions for a range of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, the country’s largest insurance companies, corporate benefit providers, banks and credit unions and membership organizations. Since 2005, the company has helped more than 150,000 businesses manage data breaches. For more information, please visit

About First Star
First Star was founded in 1999 as a national 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to improving the lives of America’s abused and neglected children by strengthening their rights, illuminating systemic failures and igniting necessary reforms. We pursue our mission through research, public engagement, policy advocacy, education and litigation. First Star balances education, policy and research with public awareness to heighten visibility and to deepen knowledge about the plight of society's most vulnerable children – those who are abused and neglected.  First Star fights for a future in which America’s abused and neglected children will have won full recognition of their fundamental right to be heard and protected by the systems legally entrusted with their care. For more information, please visit

© IDT911, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
If you need identity theft assistance, call your provider organization to be put in touch with the IDT911 Resolution Center. More information for individual consumers.