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Fraud and Identity Theft

Information and resources to protect yourself and your family from fraud and identity theft.

It’s not always easy to spot con artists. They invade your home through the telephone, computer, and mail; advertise in well-known newspapers and magazines; and come through your door. Most people think they’re too smart to fall for a scam, but the opposite is true.

The National Consumer League’s National Fraud Information Center reported that from January to September 2005, online auctions accounted for 42 percent of all complaints received. Far worse, the average loss was an astounding $1,129. The loss to consumers from identity theft was $5 billion in 2004, with an average loss of $400, $1,440 if the crime was committed online.

One particularly insidious type of crime preys on the goodwill of the American public: charity fraud, which increases at times of national tragedies and natural disasters. (According to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Americans gave $200 billion to charity in 2000.) Anyone can fall victim to these crooks: Almost without fail, they’re well-mannered, friendly, and helpful—at least at first.

Information about Fraud and Identity Theft

Identity Smart
A Guide For Consumers to Help Protect Against Identity Theft

Evolving with Technology
A comprehensive introduction to cybercrime with links to resources

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft
Keep yourself safe from criminals who want to steal your personal information

Products and Publications on Fraud and Identity Theft

Preventing Identity Theft
Colorful, twelve page booklet on preventing identity theft. Available in packs of 10

Preventing Fraud, Abuse, and Other Crime on the Internet
This report explains why the Internet is so attractive to criminals and con artists, and how to protect yourself

Safer Seniors
This kit, written for community resource liaisons, was designed to help teach seniors about fraud, safety, and crime prevention so they can learn how to protect themselves and feel safer

Small Community Investment Can Protect Seniors Against Fraud
This report explores reasons seniors are disproportionately vulnerable to fraud, identifies key components of a Safety Net, looks at how a Safety Net can work, and identifies benefits to the community and its residents

Downloadable Resources on Fraud and Identity Theft

Size Description Title
589.9 kB This colorful, 16 page booklet analysis the issue of telemarketing fraud targeted at seniors and how to prevent it File Seniors and Telemarketing Fraud
88.9 kB A reproducible brochure from the 2009-2010 Crime Prevention Month Kit File Shopping Online - Be Wary of Holiday Crime
77.0 kB A one-page PDF with tips about protecting yourself while shopping online File Shopping Safely Online
58.3 kB A two-page report on the Nigerian Letter Scam and similar frauds File The Nigerian Letter Scam
116.5 kB This reproducible fact sheet has tips for protecting your personal information, and steps to take if your identity has been stolen. File Tips for Preventing Identity Theft
123.1 kB A reproducible brochure about how to identify and avoid scams File Use Common Sense To Spot a Con Artist
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