The Council of Better Business Bureaus, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, attorneys general and other organizations are offering consumers and small business owners tips to help them address the growing problem. Today, 11.1 million people have been victims of identity theft, according to Javelin Strategy and Research.
"Fighting identity theft is a constant battle and the attacks can come at you from all fronts," Stephen A. Cox, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said in a statement. "Because we are all potential victims, it's important that we all take steps to fight identity theft and Protect Your Identity Week is a great place to start."
Consumers can find several resources to help protect their identity online:
- www.ProtectYourIDNow.org -- this site helps consumers learn how to fight identity theft by offering tips and links to other consumer organizations. For information in Spanish, consumers can visit www.cuidesuidentidad.org
- Take a quiz at www.ProtectYourIDNow.org to determine if you're at high risk for identity theft.
- Identity theft expert Robert Siciliano will have daily blog posts on the subject.
- In Kentucky, the attorney general is teaming up with the BBB, Lowe's Home Improvement and Shred-All Documents to offer a free "Shred Day" for residents in Lexington on Sept. 24 at Lowe's, 2300 Greg Lag Way, from noon to 5 p.m. Residents there will be able to shred up to 60 pounds of documents. Staples and paperclips do not need to be removed before shredding. For more information about this event, visit the Kentucky attorney general's web site.
- Cintas Corporation is providing free document shredding services nationwide and hopes to make the Guinness Book of World Records for the most paper shredded during a 24-hour period.
Susan C. Keating, president and CEO of the NFCC, said in a statement that tens of thousands of consumers reaped the benefits of last year's events and more than 500 tons of sensitive documents were shredded.