SOURCE: National Foundation for Credit Counseling

National Foundation for Credit Counseling

October 05, 2009 09:00 ET

National Protect Your Identity Week Is October 17th - 24th

Protect Yourself Against the Fastest Growing Crime in America

SILVER SPRING, MD--(Marketwire - October 5, 2009) - In 2008 alone, there were nearly 10 million victims of identity theft, making this the fastest growing crime in America. Identity theft often happens when a person least suspects it, such as when they use a credit card or an ATM machine. And while many people may feel their information is safe and this could never happen to them, what they don't know is that there are a multitude of different tactics being used to steal one's identity -- leaving victims scared, confused and financially hurt.

Here are just some of the ways in which identity theft can happen and the devastating effects on victims:

Credit card fraud:

-- A new credit card account(s) can be opened in someone's name. When the identity thief uses the card and doesn't pay the bill, the delinquent account appears on the victim's credit report.

Bank/finance fraud:

-- ID theft victims may find that their ATM or debit card has been cloned. In many cases, electronic withdrawals have been made in their name and their accounts are drained.

Other:

-- Identity thieves may use the victim's name to get electricity, cell phone service or cable TV.

-- Someone may also rent a house or get medical services under a victim's name or use that person's information during an arrest, leaving the victim's personal records tarnished.

All of this makes it imperative for people to get the facts and arm themselves with information. That is why the National Foundation for Credit Counseling provides National Protect Your Identity Week every October so that the general public, as well victims of identity theft, can gain access to free information on prevention and learn what steps to take if they have been impacted. At www.ProtectYourIDNow.org you can take the ID Theft Reality Check Quiz (http://www.protectyouridnow.org/id_theft_quiz.cfm) to assess your risk of ID theft or learn important tips with the PYIW Blog (http://www.protectyouridnow.org/R_Siciliano.cfm).

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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 850 community-based offices nationwide.

Contact Information

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