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Don't Be a Victim: I.E. Stands Up to Identity Thieves

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Identity thieves will go to any length to obtain someone else’s identity for their own personal gain. Over 8 million Americans are victimized by identity theft each year, with ID theft remaining the top complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.

Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management is proud to take the lead in this area by bringing identity theft protection education to consumers. Since prevention is the best answer to this growing problem, Springboard, in collaboration with Cintas Document Management, the United Way of the Inland Valleys and SmartRiverside, will host a “Safe & Secure Community Resource Fair” on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at 1695 Spruce Street in Riverside.

Families and small businesses are encouraged to bring outdated financial records and other items that contain personal financial information for on-site shredding. E-waste such as unused cell phones, computers and computer monitors may also be dropped off for disposing in a safe and secure manner.

For more information or to view the event flyer, visit Springboard’s website at http:// credit.org/blog/events/event/safesecure- community-resource-fair/.

Springboard will be distributing free resources, including an identity theft awareness and prevention toolkit to help consumers defend themselves and their children against identity thieves.

Springboard is partnering in the National Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW) October 16-22, 2011. The national initiative is cohosted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Association of Triads. Springboard’s Senior Vice President and Education Foundation Executive Director, Melinda Opperman, is the NFCC member agency Chairperson for Protect Your Identity Week.

Springboard is committed to partnering with the NFCC, community stakeholders and other NFCC partners to help fight ID theft. Together we can help American consumers fight ID theft through awareness and prevention.

There have been breaches of secure information in nearly every sector of the business community as well as the education, healthcare, banking, and even government sectors. Everyone, even children, is at risk of identity theft.

There are numerous techniques that thieves use when committing identity theft, from more traditional methods, such as stolen wallets, to emerging methods through the Internet and social media. Because of this, consumers should learn to protect themselves through an array of different options.

“Even though the oldfashioned ways of stealing a person’s identity are still prevalent, the thieves are beginning to focus on the personal information they can obtain from our everyday electronic devices such as cell phones, PDAs, pagers and even copy machines,” said Springboard’s Melinda Opperman. “Child identity theft is a growing concern, as it may go unnoticed until the child is an adult and applies for credit. Consumers need to stay in front of these problems, and the best way to do that is through education. We encourage consumers to attend our free events and become better informed,” said Opperman.”

In addition to the community resource fair, Springboard will be presenting free identity theft workshops at community partner locations throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. A complete listing may be found online at http://credit.org/blog/, and by clicking the events and seminars tab.

In the San Diego area, Springboard will be presenting an identity theft awareness and prevention workshop at the San Diego Housing Commission’s Achievement Academy on Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

As an additional resource, or to locate events across the United States, visit the NFCC‘s Web site dedicated to identity theft education, www. ProtectYourIDNow.org. While there, take an ID theft quiz to assess your level of risk. The Web site also contains tips, statistics, and other resources to arm you against this crime. Consumers may also visit Springboard’s Financial Instructional Training Academy at http://credit.org/ blog/courses/identity-theft/ to participate in an online instructional video on identity theft awareness and prevention.

About Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management SPRINGBOARD® Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit personal financial education and counseling organization founded in 1974. Springboard is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a national organization of nonprofit credit counseling agencies, and a member of the Association of Independent Credit Counseling Agencies. The agency offers personal financial education and assistance with credit counseling, housing counseling, debt and money management through educational programs and confidential counseling. Springboard is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, signifying the highest standards for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies. The agency provides pre-bankruptcy counseling and debtor education as mandated by the bankruptcy reform law. The agency offers nationwide phone counseling services and has locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas for in-person counseling sessions. Not all types of counseling are available inperson at all locations, please call for details. For more information on Springboard, call 800-449- 9818 or visit their web site at www.credit.org.

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