Recognizing the need for nationwide grassroots consumer education outreach to prevent identity theft, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) is partnering with the National Foundation of Credit Counseling (NFCC) in launching the 2nd annual National Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW) October 17 – 24, 2009. This event coincides with BBB’s Secure Your ID Day to be held on October 17, 2009. During PYIW, Better Business Bureaus will hold identity theft protection events in communities across the nation. At the local events, consumers can take advantage of educational resources and free document shredding.
Identity theft claimed more than 10 million victims in 2008, a 22 percent increase over 2007. According to a report from Javelin Strategy and Research, low-tech methods for stealing personal information are still the most popular for identity thieves. Of the cases where consumers knew how their identity was compromised, stolen wallets and physical documents accounted for 43 percent of all identity theft, while online methods accounted for only 11 percent.
“In spite of doing everything right, consumers nonetheless can find themselves victimized and forced to spend time and money restoring their good name and good credit,” said Steve Cox, President and CEO of the CBBB. “By providing educational tools and free document shredding as part of Protect Your Identity week, BBB continues to help communities guard against identity theft.”
Consumers can find PYIW educational events in their area by going to the Web site www.ProtectYourIDNow.org. The site also features an interactive quiz to help consumers assess their risk of identity theft; videos, blogs and identity theft prevention tips. The Web site is also available in Spanish at www.cuidesuidentidad.org.
Underscoring the importance of educating consumers regarding the perils of identity theft, a number of national organizations are joining CBBB and NFCC as supporting PYIW Coalition Members. This Coalition includes: The American Bankers Association Education Foundation, AFSA Education Foundation, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Credit Union National Association, Federal Trade Commission, Identity Theft Resource Center, Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy, Junior Achievement USA, National Council of LaRaza, National Crime Prevention Council, National Education Association Member Benefits, National Sheriff’s Association, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the National Association of Triads.