National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
survey conducted by Harris Interactive(R) revealed that 45 percent of all U.S. adults, roughly 101 million people, would feel at most risk for identity theft when making a purchase with a credit card that requires the card to be temporarily taken out of
their sight, for example, at a restaurant.
By contrast, consumers are least fearful of falling victim to identity theft when using their credit card to make a purchase in person, for instance at a store. Only 21 percent of U.S. adults listed this as a concern, suggesting that consumers are comfortable
as long as they can keep an eye on their card.
In an effort to provide consumers with identity theft education and protection, the NFCC announces its second annual National Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW), October 17-24. Joining the NFCC as a full partner this year is the Council of Better Business
Bureaus (CBBB), combining the strength of two well-respected nonprofits behind this initiative.
A number of national organizations are also putting their weight behind this initiative, joining the NFCC and CBBB 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. MSN Money is once again the national online media sponsor.
Consumers can find PYIW educational events in their area by going to www.ProtectYourIDNow.org. 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.
A new feature this year on
www.ProtectYourIDNow.org is a blog hosted by me. I will be providing insight, information and advice for consumers each day during PYIW and then weekly on the blog throughout the year on topics relevant to identity theft. The goal is to keep the public
informed and not just one, but 10 steps ahead of the bad guys.
According to the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center and
other sources, identity theft can be sub-divided into five categories:
- Business/commercial identity theft (using another’s business name to obtain credit)
- Criminal identity theft (posing as another when apprehended for a crime)
- Financial identity theft (using another’s identity to obtain goods and services)
- Identity cloning (using another’s information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
- Medical identity theft (using another’s information to obtain medical care or drugs)
We will be discussing these and many others issues of fraud on an ongoing basis.
1. Protecting yourself from new account fraud requires effort. You can attempt to protect your own identity, by getting yourself a credit freeze, or setting up your own fraud
alerts. There are pros and cons to each.