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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
1.5 MB A reproducible brochure about how online auction fraud occurs and how to prevent it File Online Auction Fraud
118.5 kB A reproducible brochure on identifying and reporting charity fraud File Preventing Charity Fraud Brochure
507.7 kB A 16 page full color pdf publication on protecting yourself from identity theft File Preventing Identity Theft: A Guide for Consumers
105.5 kB A reproducible brochure with tips on identifying and avoiding telephone scams File Protect Yourself From Telephone Fraud
127.2 kB A reproducible brochure about protecting passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive personal information File Protecting Private Information
42.7 kB A one-page PDF about how to protect yourself from prescription drug scams File Protecting Yourself From Counterfeit Drugs
79.0 kB This one-page PDF tells you who to contact to report various criminal activities encountered online File Reporting Crime Online
1.1 MB Informative brochure on protecting your credit card information File Safe and Secure in an Electronic World
1.3 MB A reproducible brochure about preventing seniors from becoming victims of fraud File Safer Seniors
866.9 kB A reproducible brochure about fraud and other crimes commonly perpetrated against seniors File Seniors Against Crime
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