(Phoenix, Ariz. – Oct. 7, 2005) According to the Federal Trade Commission, Arizona ranked first in ID theft complaints among all states last year, and metro Phoenix ranked number one among all metropolitan areas in the country.
Terry Goddard is pleased to announce a new partnership with Cox Communications and the Attorney General’s Office to provide the tools and information consumers need to keep their identity safe.
"ID theft is a crime of convenience, and thieves look for the easiest way to take someone's identity," Goddard said. "I am committed to prosecuting ID theft cases, but we also need to make sure consumers have prevention information. This partnership provides us with an opportunity to get out more of that information.”
“Cox prides itself on being a local company that serves our customers,” said Steve Rizley, vice president and regional manager, Cox Communications Arizona. “As a leader in the telecommunications industry, our partnership with Attorney General Terry Goddard affords us one more positive step where our digital products help educate our customers. We are proud to be a part of a very important public service.”
Beginning Monday, October 10, the ID theft campaign launches statewide. The campaign includes public service announcements featuring Goddard; an education campaign on www.azag.gov; and tips to avoid being a victim communicated through Cox customer service telephone hold messaging, bill messages, and the Cox Communicator (Cox High Speed customer newsletter).
Nationally, fraud and ID theft costs are staggering. Consider these numbers from the Federal Trade Commission’s 2004 annual report:
- $5,686 is the average cost per fraud victim.
- 4.25 percent of the U.S. adult population have been fraud victims.
- 9.3 million U.S. adults have been victims of identity theft.
- $52.6 billion is the annual cost of fraud nationally.
The following are tips consumers can follow to protect themselves from ID thieves:
- Review your bank and credit card statements monthly.
- Remove your Social Security number from your driver’s license.
- Keep credit card account information in a safe place.
- Never give bank or credit card account information over the phone unless you initiated the call and know the business.
- Order a copy of your credit report at least annually and check it carefully(www.annualcreditreport.com).
- Keep your wallet or purse in a secure place at all times.
- When ordering by phone or on-line, use a credit card rather than a debit card.
- Always take your credit card receipts.
- Cancel credit cards that you don’t use.
For more information about ID theft, please visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov.