Columbus, Ohio (Vocus) October 20, 2010

Apprisen Financial Advocates is a national nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency that provides personal financial counseling and financial education. When something happens 10 million times per year, it?s worth noting, and in recent years, that?s how many victims of identity theft have reported the abuse to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Further, ID theft has remained the number one complaint to the FTC for the past five years.

It can start the old-fashioned way with lost or stolen wallets, pilfered mail, or through documents thrown out by you or a business (dumpster diving). A consumer may also be victimized through more high-tech crimes including a data breach, computer virus, phishing or an Internet scam. Once the personal information is stolen, the crime can result in check fraud, credit card fraud, financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, governmental identity theft and medical identity theft.

Recognizing that awareness and education are essential tools necessary for consumers to protect themselves against ID theft, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has teamed with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) to host the third annual Protect Your Identity Week October 17-23. During the week there are 175 local events in communities across the nation where consumers can take part in educational workshops, credit report reviews, responsibly recycle unused cell phones and have their personal documents shredded for free.

Consumers are urged to visit where they can locate events in their area, find useful prevention tips, victim resources, and take a quiz to assess their own risk of becoming the next identity theft victim.

?A recent NFCC online poll revealed that a majority of Americans fear identity theft, and that is a healthy fear to have if it leads them to take action,? said Michael S. Kappas, President and CEO, Apprisen Financial Advocates. ?The upcoming educational events should go a long way toward helping consumers protect themselves from the ever-present danger of identity theft.? For more information on ID Theft or what to do if you are a victim, call 800-355.2227.

Apprisen Financial Advocates, a national nonprofit credit counseling agency, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt since 1955. Certified counselors provide money management, debt counseling, HUD-approved housing counseling and financial education. Services are provided in-person in 10 states through local offices and nationally by phone or via the Internet. The oldest nonprofit credit counseling agency in the country, Apprisen Financial Advocates is known in its local communities as Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS). Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), Apprisen is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and AICCCA. Information is available 24/7. Call 800-355-2227 or visit our website, .


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