It's Protect Your Identity Week all across the land, with more than 175 local events planned, including educational workshops, credit report checks, cell phone recycling and free document shredding.
The observance is a joint effort of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
The agencies said identity theft occurs in the United States some 10 million times a year and has been the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the past five years.
Avenues of identity theft range from low-tech dumpster diving and stealing mail to high-tech malware making its way past some of the stoutest firewalls and filters. The results can include check and credit card fraud to identity theft affecting the victim's financial, governmental and medical identities.
Cintas Corp., the agencies' national shredding partner for Protect Your Identity Week, is offering free document shredding at locations nationwide with an eye toward setting a Guinness Book of World Records mark for most paper shredded in a 24-hour period.