Posted Friday, October 15, 2010 in
When something happens 10 million times per year, it’s worth noting, and in recent years, that’s how many victims of identity theft have reported the abuse to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Further, ID theft has remained the number one complaint to the FTC for the past five years.
It can start the old-fashioned way with lost or stolen wallets, pilfered mail, or through documents thrown out by you or a business (dumpster diving). A consumer may also be victimized through more high-tech crimes including a data breach, computer virus, phishing or an Internet scam. Once the personal information is stolen, the crime can result in check fraud, credit card fraud, financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, governmental identity theft and medical identity theft.
Recognizing that awareness and education are essential tools necessary for consumers to protect themselves against ID theft, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has teamed with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) to host the third annual Protect Your Identity Week October 17-23. The week will consist of more than 175 local events in communities across the nation where consumers can take part in educational workshops, credit report reviews, responsibly recycle unused cell phones and have their personal documents shredded for free.
Consumers are urged to visit www.ProtectYourIDNow.org where they can locate events in their area, find useful prevention tips, victim resources, and take a quiz to assess their own risk of becoming the next identity theft victim. Advice in Spanish is also available at www.cuidesuidentidad.org.
“A recent NFCC online poll revealed that a majority of Americans fear identity theft, and that is a healthy fear to have if it leads them to take action,” said Bob Ensinger, COO of the NFCC. “The upcoming educational events should go a long way toward helping consumers protect themselves from the ever-present danger of identity theft.”