ARLINGTON, Va. (12/2/10)--The recent 2010 Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW) campaign hosted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) touched a record number of consumers, helping protect tens of thousands against identity theft. During the one-week campaign:
* 190 events were held in 40 states, serving more than 24,000 consumers in person; * 882 tons of material were shredded at events; * More than 28,000 consumers visited the www.ProtectYourIDNow.org English website and the www.cuidesuidentidad.org Spanish website; and * More than 6,000 consumers took the Identity Theft Risk Check in either English or Spanish.
Also, the event broke an existing Guinness World Record. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County, GreenPath Debt Solutions and BBB of Detroit & Eastern Michigan, and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley were designated to compete in the Guinness category of Most Paper Collected in a 24-Hour Period. The existing record of 2,204 pounds was toppled by those three locations which collectively shredded a total of 31,979 pounds. Cintas Corporation, national shredding partner for PYIW, provided free document destruction for events nationwide, including the three that participated in breaking the world record. “Protect Your Identity Week has grown to become a nationwide mobilization of government agencies, nonprofits, business, and consumers coming together to fight identity theft and BBB is proud to work with the NFCC to make it happen,” said Stephen A. Cox, president and CEO of the CBBB. “Even though the week is over, BBB is still here throughout the rest of the year to help educate small business owners and consumers on how to protect their identity.” Regarding consumer advice for fraud protection during the holidays, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association recommends that shoppers use their credit cards rather than their debit cards, (WHTM Nov. 24). In the event that a perpetrator would gain access to a debit card and commit fraud, the money would be stolen from a checking account. The consumer could be left without day-to-day while the fraud is being sorted out by the financial institution and the police. But if a credit card is compromised, access to a line of credit card is lost--not such an inconvenience in the short term. Consumers can avoid interest fees and still use their credit cards by paying their balance before the due date.