Whether it’s a security breach at a national department store, a waiter scanning your credit card at a restaurant, or a lost wallet, identity theft is rampant. In 2008, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), close to 10 million consumers reported being victimized. However, many consumers still do not feel well-prepared when it comes to identity theft protection. According to a recent National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) online poll of more than 1,000 individuals, 60 percent responded that they’d like to feel more protected, but don’t know what steps to take.
Recognizing this gap in identity theft education, the NFCC and Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) are proud to join together in providing consumers with identity theft prevention tools through the second annual National Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW), Oct, 17-24, 2009.
Hundreds of events across the country will be available to consumers during the week. PYIW educational events can be located by going to either ProtectYourIDNow.org or CuideSuIdentidad.org, a Spanish language PYIW site new to the 2009 outreach. Hosted by a local member of the NFCC, BBB or other Coalition Member, consumers can take advantage of identity theft workshops, onsite shredding and credit report reviews. The Web site also includes identity theft prevention tips, videos, an interactive quiz to assess your risk of identity theft, and resources for victims.
Also new in 2009 to ProtectYourIDNow.org is a blog hosted by nationally known identity theft expert Robert Siciliano. Siciliano will be providing insight, information and advice for consumers each day during PYIW. After PYIW, Siciliano will post weekly on the blog throughout the year on topics relevant to identity theft.
Underscoring the need for additional identity theft protection are the results from the same NFCC online poll which showed that 19 percent of respondents are either not concerned about ID theft, or think their efforts are a waste of time, as the crooks will always stay one step ahead of the consumers. This data suggests that such an attitude puts these consumers at additional risk for identity theft.