Posted: May 30, 2014 -- letizia

In 2012, some 17 million people nationwide were victims of identity theft, incurring direct and indirect losses of $24.7 billion, according to one report by the U.S. Department of Justice. A WSU Libraries exhibit delves into the problem and government efforts to combat it.

“The Secret Life of Your Personal Information: Government Resources on Identity Theft” spans 15 years, since Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act in 1998 that makes identity theft a federal crime. The exhibit will go through June 20 in the Terrell Library atrium exhibit case.

“Social security, bank accounts, Medicare, taxes and more are all targets for thieves,” said Marilyn Von Seggern, WSU government information librarian. “It can be devastating when identity theft happens, and methods of this kind of theft keep changing.

“The exhibit highlights consumer alerts, bulletins, reports, hearings and other government publications intended to inform and assist consumers,” she said.

The federal act helped create the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse and the Identity Theft Resource Center through the Federal Trade Commission. Other federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, Health and Human Services, Department of Justice and Postal Service, have also taken action to inform citizens about the danger.

For consumer information related to identity theft, visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft or http://www.idtheftcenter.org/.