WASHINGTON (12/1/11)--The national Protect Your Identity Week, held Oct. 16-22, reached more than 21,000 consumers with identity theft protection education, said the week's primary co-hosts National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), National Sheriffs' Association and National Association of Triads.
Among the campaign's supporting organizations was the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Many credit unions observed the week with special events, often offering events where consumers could shred documents to prevent theft of their personal information as well as informational materials.
Here are the highlights:
- Organizations, including credit unions, held 87 events across the country;
- Consumers shredded more than 700 tons of personal documents with Cintas, a document management company that provided free shredding to participants;
- Nearly 1,000 unused cell phones were collected and sent to 911 Cell Phone Bank, which will refurbish and distribute them back into communities through law enforcement. The phones will go to those most at risk for identity theft, such as senior citizens and abuse victims.
This year's campaign theme was Child Identity Theft. ID theft protection expert AllClear ID was the presenting sponsor and provided hosts and materials for events to educate consumers about protecting children from identity theft.
All Clear ID and Cintas also hosted an educational contest on Facebook where parents shared their dreams for their children--dreams that could be deterred by child identity theft. In addition to providing ID-theft prevention education, the contest awarded the winner a $5,000 savings bond.
NFCC said its identity theft site, www.ProtectYourIDNow.org,
will remain live throughout the year as a resource for consumers. The site contains ID theft prevention tips, instructions for victims, an active blog hosted by AllClear ID, and an identity theft risk-assessment quiz so consumers can test their ID theft knowledge.
In addition to CUNA, the campaign was supported by AFSA Education Foundation, American Bankers Association Education Foundation, American Payroll Association, Consumer Action, Consumer Data Industry Association, Consumer Federation of America, Council of Better Business Bureaus, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Trade Commission, Foundation for Financial Planning, Identity Theft Assistance Center, Identity Theft Resource Center, Jump$tart Coalition, Junior Achievement USA, National Crime Prevention Council, National Education Association Member Benefits, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and U.S. Social Security Administration.
"While consumers work hard to build good credit, criminals are also working hard to steal personal information and use it to their advantage," said Gail Cunningham, NFCC spokesperson. "With the holidays approaching, consumers should stay alert to the latest protection tips in order to guard against this ever-present crime."