OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will headline a 15-city statewide tour on identity theft this summer and fall to educate business owners and consumers on how to keep their personal data safe. Guard it! Washington is a partnership of the Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission and AARP.
The 15-city Guard it! Washington identity theft tour will kick off July 12 in Yakima and end on Oct. 18 in Oak Harbor just prior to the Attorney General’s participation in the Washington Credit Union League’s statewide shred-a-thon on Oct. 24.
“More than 5,000 Washington residents become victims of identity theft each year, according to reports from the Federal Trade Commission,” McKenna said. “Thieves are capitalizing on the latest techniques to commit these crimes.”
McKenna has made prevention and protection against identity theft a top priority for his administration. He convened an identity theft task force in fall 2005 to identify areas where progress could be made. The task force’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft (LEGIT) held a statewide shred-a-thon in April 2007 and the Attorney General’s Office drafted and supported passage of credit freeze legislation during the 2007 session.
“Consumer education is finally paying off,” McKenna said. “Washington has dropped to number nine in the nation for identify thefts per capita, however there is still much work to be done.”
Identity theft costs consumers approximately $50 billion a year, according to the most recent study by Javelin Strategy and Research. Identity theft continues to be the most frequently requested topic for consumer protection outreach.
Each Guard it! Washington community event is expected to include:
Free Shredding from 5 to 7 p.m: Free shredding will be offered in conjunction with the evening forums. Commercial shred companies will donate their time and resources to destroy sensitive documents at no charge. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, there is a limit of three grocery bags or two file boxes per customer.
Community presentations from 6:30 to 8 p.m:
People may register online or over the phone to reserve a seat at one of our free citizen forums where they will have an opportunity to learn how to protect themselves and their families from identity theft and what to do if you are a victim. Register online
via our secure server or call toll-free 1-800-646-2283.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will lead each session. Other speakers include experts from the Federal Trade Commission, AARP and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of our presenters.
Guard it! Washington Tour Dates
For the latest dates and locations, please click here.
Register now to attend one of the public seminars online or call toll-free 1-800-646-2283. Additional details online at www.GuarditWashington.com
Media Contact: Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725