SOURCE: The National Foundation for Credit Counseling

October 09, 2008 12:04 ET

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling Launches National Protect Your Identity Week October 19th-25th

Get Educated on How to Prevent the Dangers of Identity Theft

SILVER SPRING, MD--(Marketwire - October 9, 2008) - Last year alone, 8.4 million Americans were victims of identity theft, making this the fastest growing crime in America. Every day, millions of Americans are putting themselves at risk just by writing a check, using a credit card or an ATM. With National Protect Your Identity Week approaching on October 19th, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has embarked on a campaign to provide help and guidelines for ID theft awareness and prevention.

For example, just because your credit card is in your wallet, it doesn't mean you're safe. Someone can steal your credit or debit card information without you even knowing it! The best protection against ID theft is education. The NFCC has a Web site dedicated to ID theft protection. At www.ProtectYourIDNow.org you can take a quiz to assess your risk of ID theft or learn important tips, such as:

--  Shred everything
--  Never carry your Social Security card
--  Do not keep charge receipts in your car
--  Photocopy both sides of all credit cards
--  Do not put bills out for the mailman at home
--  Do not have new checks mailed to your home
--  Put as little information as you can on your checks
--  Remove any card from your wallet that you don't use
--  Immediately report lost or stolen cards; this will limit your
    liability
--  Never provide personal information over the phone unless you initiated
    the call
    

Consumers cannot be too cautious. Unfortunately, ID theft appears to be a crime that won't just go away. Staying ahead of the criminals can be time-consuming, but educating yourself about ID theft is time well spent. That's why learning more about how to prevent ID theft as well as understanding its consequences at www.ProtectYourIDNow.org is so important.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1951, and is the nation's largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. The NFCC's mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior and build capacity for its more than 100 members to deliver the highest quality financial education and counseling services. Setting the national standard for quality credit counseling, debt reduction services and education for financial wellness, NFCC members annually help more than two million consumers through nearly 900 community-based offices nationwide.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Gail Cunningham
    National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    (940) 691-6322
    gcunningham@nfcc.org