"AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend"
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"AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend"

SAN DIEGO, CA. ' You can take steps to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. That is the message of a nationwide education program launched in May by the Federal Trade Commission: "AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend."

Deter - Take steps to reduce your risk of ID theft

Detect - Monitor your personal information

Defend - Act quickly when you suspect identity theft

The program coincides with issuance of an executive order signed by President Bush, creating an Identity Theft Task Force, chaired by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and co-chaired by FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. The Task Force will develop a strategic plan to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of government efforts to deter, prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute identity theft.

"Personal information is the new currency," said Chairman Majoras. "Consumers should protect their personal information as carefully as they protect their cash."

The FTC and the Justice Department will send "AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend" education kits to 4,500 victim advocates across the country. The U.S. Social Security Administration will involve its field offices. Other partners include the National Association of Realtors, the American College Personnel Association - College Student Educators International, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the National Crime Prevention Council, the National Apartment Association, and America's Community Bankers.

The FTC maintains the central federal database for ID theft complaints. With experts in ID theft, privacy, and data security, its Division of Privacy and Identity Protection helps criminal law enforcement detect and prosecute identity thieves, and provides victim assistance and consumer education. The agency also pursues law enforcement actions against companies that fail to provide reasonable security for sensitive customer data. Since 2001, the FTC has brought 13 such cases, and challenges organizations that make deceptive claims about privacy procedures and security.

Materials in the "AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend" education kit include a victim recovery guide, "Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft." The kit also contains a training booklet, "Talking About Identity Theft: A How-To Guide," and a 10-minute video on identity theft. All materials are available in English and in Spanish. Through a toll-free number (1-877-IDTHEFT) and Web site (Consumer.gov/idtheft/), the FTC has distributed more than 22 million publications on identity theft.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business Practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at FTC.gov/ftc/complaint.htm. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

FTC MEDIA CONTACTS:

Claudia Bourne Farrell
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2181

Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2674

 

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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