The third annual nationwide Protect Your Identity Week will be observed Oct. 17-23, a joint project of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
More than 150 free events are being offered across the country, including workshops, credit report reviews, document shredding and safe disposal of mobile phones and computer equipments, the organizations said.
Websites at www.protectyouridnow.org and www.cuidesidentidad.org offer consumer advice on identity theft and breaches as well as a quiz to determine personal risk of identity theft and daily blogs from McAfee consultant Robert Siciliano, an expert on ID theft.
There were 11.1 million identity theft victims in the United States last year, a 12.5 percent increase from the year before, the NFCC said.
More than 500 tons of sensitive documents were shredded as part of last year's identity theft awareness week.
"This year, we anticipate having an even larger impact due to the increased number of events and resources available to consumers. For instance, at some shredding events participants can even take part in breaking a Guinness world record," said Susan C. Keating, president/CEO of the NFCC.
Stephen A. Cox, president/CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said, "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. You can participate in a free shredding event to protect yourself now, and check out the educational events and online resources to protect yourself in the future."
A long list of supporting coalition members include CUNA, FICO, the ABA Education Foundation, Junior Achievement USA, National Council of La Raza, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Identity Theft Resource Center and the Social Security Administration.