APWG releases new online tools to deter, detect and defend against identity theft
LOS ALTOS, Calif. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – In an effort to reduce the incidence of identity theft, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is joining the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) nationwide “AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend” campaign to educate Americans on how to minimize risk of identity theft and quickly fight back if they become a victim.
APWG, in cooperation with FTC, is releasing two new online tools to provide critical information about identity theft, as well as information about communicating about identity theft to reach consumers and businesses with the much needed information to protect against identity theft and online financial scams.
“The Anti-Phishing Working Group gets calls from consumers and, increasingly, from institutions looking for counseling on all forms of phishing and identity theft issues,” said APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy. “A lot of calls come from smaller financial institutions and consumer groups without the staff to research and produce their own educational materials on identity theft. That’s why we are providing essential educational materials online, ready to print and distribute, to help arm consumers.”
APWG offers two new educational tools online:
“Fighting Back Against Identity Theft”: The easy to reproduce brochure outlines essential steps to deter, detect and defend against identity theft. The brochure is available online in print ready, PDF format: http://antiphishing.org/deterDetectDefend_ftc&apwg.pdf
“Talking About Identity Theft: A How-To Guide”: A comprehensive guide with educational strategies and materials for professionals, associations and community groups to effectively communicate and educate about identity theft. This guide is available online in print ready, PDF format: http://antiphishing.org/HowtoGuide_ftc&apwg.pdf
Together, APWG and the FTC are helping consumers and businesses learn about the necessary steps to deter, detect and defend against identity theft. While no one is immune from identity theft, these steps make it more difficult for identity thieves to steal personal information for criminal enterprise. Current estimates by the FTC indicate that there may be as many as 10 million victims of identity theft each year. And studies estimate that victims of identity theft spend $5 billion to undo its harm, while businesses lose nearly $50 billion in revenue annually.
Phishing and trading illicitly collected information are part of the rapidly growing electronic crime economy. APWG works to identify and neutralize technical mechanisms that are used to operate identity theft schemes and compromise personal financial information.
About the AWPG:
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is an industry association focused on eliminating the identity theft and fraud that result from the growing problem of phishing, email spoofing and crimeware. Membership is open to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs, the law enforcement community and solutions providers. There are more than 1,500 companies and government agencies participating in the APWG and more than 2,500 members. The APWG’s Web site (http://www.antiphishing.org) offers the public and industry information about phishing and email fraud, including identification and promotion of pragmatic technical solutions that provide immediate protection.
About FTC’s role in identity theft:
Each week, between 15,000 and 20,000 consumers contact the FTC about identity theft and receive assistance through the Identity Theft Hotline (1-877-ID THEFT) and Web site (www.ftc.gov/idtheft). Managed by the FTC, the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse—the nation’s repository for complaints—serves as a vital resource for local law enforcement officials investigating and prosecuting identity theft cases. The FTC also shares clearinghouse information with law enforcement agencies nationwide via the FTC’s secure law enforcement Web site, Consumer Sentinel (www.consumer.gov/sentinel).