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.

Downloadable Resources on Fraud and Identity Theft

Size Description Title
1.4 MB Newspaper Mat Feature: In the course of the day, you do many activities that put your personal information at risk — from writing a check at the store to char... File  7 Tips on Preventing Identity Theft
44.1 kB A reproducible brochure with tips on how to protect your computer from scammers File  10 Tips To Secure Your Personal Computer
65.5 kB A two-page report on how to invest safely and avoid financial fraud File Avoid Investment Fraud
60.2 kB A two-page report on how to ensure that your give wisely to charity and avoid charity fraud File  Charitable Giving Done Wisely
46.9 kB This one page PDF identifies many of the typical scams to watch out for online File Don't Be Scammed
3.9 MB This presentation defines identity theft, discusses why participants should worry about it, examines how identity theft occurs, looks at how identity theft has ... File  Identity Theft and Strategies for Crime Prevention
104.6 kB A reproducible brochure on preventing identity theft File Identity Theft Brochure
20.0 kB This research brief looks at the correlation between iPod popularity and increased theft File Is There An iCrime Wave
357.7 kB A reproducible brochure with guidelines for employees on keeping company information protected File Keeping Insider Information Inside
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
600.7 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