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Identity Fraud Numbers Reach Record High In 2009

BBB's Secure Your ID Day, April 17, Helps Consumers Prevent Identity Fraud

Anchorage, Alaska – April 15, 2010 – As 2009 revealed record-breaking identity fraud reports, Better Business Bureau encourages the public to take prevention measures. A 2010 research study by Javelin Strategy and Research uncovered the following facts from 2009:

  • 11.1 million consumers—4.8 percent of the U.S. population—were victims of identity theft. This is a 12 percent increase from 2008.

  • 39 percent of victims reported fraudulent new credit card accounts—6 percent higher than the year before.

  • Fraud crimes led to an estimated $54 billion in losses—up 12.5 percent from 2008.

Since the Javelin Strategy and Research survey started in 2003, the number of identity fraud victims and the percentage of U.S.-based fraud victims reached all-time highs in 2009. Javelin suggested that fraudulent activity increases when the economy is in a downturn.

"It is difficult to discern whether identity thieves are being more aggressive or consumers are becoming more assertive in reporting fraud," said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "To combat growing statistics, BBB provides Secure Your ID Day to help consumers protect themselves from becoming identity theft victims."

BBB's Secure Your ID Day – Saturday, April 17, 2010

Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location: Lyberger's Car and Truck Sales, 9530 Old Seward Highway, Anchorage

Shred unwanted or expired documents for free. Drive up and drop off up to three (3) grocery bags or boxes of unwanted documents (no cardboard or three-ring binders). Items will be securely shredded on-the-spot by Shred Alaska.

BBB provides the following steps to help detect and prevent identity fraud:

  • Are you a target for identity thieves? Take a quiz to find out. According to FICO, most identity thefts—online and off—are committed by someone the victim knows. Visit www.onguardonline.gov for more ways to test your identity theft prevention knowledge.

  • Do you know the fraud prevention basics? Never give out personal identifiers to unauthorized parties over the phone, mail, online or in-person. Visit bbb.org for more identity theft prevention tips.

  • What should you do if you become a victim of identity theft? If your identity has been stolen, visit www.bbb.org for information on what steps to take.

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About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
Your Better Business Bureau is a not-for-profit organization funded by Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses. The BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. For more information about the services and products provided by your BBB, call 206-431-2222 or 253-830-2924 in Washington, 503-212-3022 in Oregon, 907-562-0704 in Alaska, or visit our Web site at www.bbb.org.

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