Monday, October 31, 2011

Identity Theft

Hello and welcome to our new blog!

We want the community to know about all that we are doing at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo (CCCS Buffalo), so we proudly bring you this information source to keep you up to date on our latest goings-on. We welcome your comments and input!

In case you are not sure exactly what we do:

“CCCS of Buffalo is a non-profit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and credit repayment assistance to consumers since 1965. CCCS of Buffalo helps consumers trim expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available at our Main Office in West Seneca, in one of our Satellite Offices, by telephone and via Internet.

Latest News:

Buffalo Community Secures Their Identity With Help From CCCS and Partners

In 2010, 8 million Americans were victims of identity theft. The overall losses from identity fraud last year were over $37 billion and the average consumer out-of-pocket cost due to identity fraud jumped from $387 per incident in 2009 to $631 per incident in 2010, an astounding 63 % increase.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc. (CCCS Buffalo) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) hosted their 4th annual “Secure Your ID Day” event on October 22nd in conjunction with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s National Protect Your Identity Week. “Secure Your ID Day” was held at three different Tops Markets locations: 2101 Elmwood Ave in Buffalo, George Urban & Union Road in Cheektowaga, and Robinson Road & Niagara Falls Blvd in Amherst.

As many have discovered, it is much better to protect yourself against ID theft than to pick up the pieces after being victimized. CCCS Buffalo served hundreds of consumers and small business owners at our event, with folks showing up to have their personal documents shredded at no charge. CCCS Buffalo also disseminated information on how to prevent identity theft. Event sponsor Shred-It reported that 15,000 pounds or nearly 8 tons of material were properly destroyed.

The event also offered a secure way of disposing of old cell phones that were no longer being used. These cell phones are stripped of all personal information be stored in them, and then given 911cellphonebank, an organization that provides an ongoing and readily available source of emergency cell phones and funds to meet the unexpected and urgent needs of participating law enforcement and affiliated victims services agencies.

Many people do not realize that most cell phones not only carry a great deal of personal information on them, but can also be used as a tool to steal someone’s identity. “Shoulder Surfing”, a term that refers to someone who tries to gain person information by peeking at a credit card or cell phone while the consumer is making a purchase, has become a more prevalent way to steal personal information. Also, the ability to take pictures of a person’s credit card can now be easily done with the high quality camera capability on cell phones.

CCCS Buffalo held this project with the help of the following sponsors: The Better Business Bureau, Evans Bank, Tops Friendly Markets, Shred-It, 911CellPhoneBank and WGRZ-TV. The collaboration was seamless, with the end result—a well-served community.

For more information, contact Tara Vogel at716.712.2062, or go to