WASHINGTON (10/14/08)—Next week has been named Protect Your Identity Week by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), which will launch a nationwide grassroots consumer outreach at that time. The effort is supported by organizations such as the Credit Union National Association, the Jump$tart Coalition, and others who have become NFCC coalition members. NFCC credit counseling member agencies in more than 100 locations across the country will offer free programs for the public, such as ID theft workshops, credit report reviews, and shredding events, as well as a variety of other protection-oriented education events. Identity theft touched the lives of more than eight million consumers last year, with thefts totaling close to $50 billion, the NFCC noted in an announcement of its effort. It noted that the Federal Trade Commission has named ID theft as the top consumer complaint for the past five years in a row. “We need to fight back, and the way to do that is to arm consumers with concrete steps they can implement into their daily lives,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. To back its community events, the NFCC created a consumer website created to highlight the events and provide valuable identity theft awareness and prevention education. The site features a map of National Protect Your Identity Week events, the “Identity Theft Risk Check,” an interactive quiz to help consumers assess their risk of identity theft; a video of an ID theft victim; steps to take if one becomes a victim of identity theft; and identity theft protection tips and resources.