Identity theft is a scary idea. It’s frightening to know that someone is “out there,” pretending to be you, racking up bills in your name, committing crimes and telling the authorities they’re you, or worse. It’s enough to make you lose sleep at night before it even happens, and the reality after the fact can be equally frightening.

Fortunately, we are here to help—twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to donations from our wonderful supporters—with free resources and information to get you started clearing up the problem.

ID-theft criminals are ramping up for 2015. Make sure you know what you need to know to reduce your risk of ID theft.

Whether you are a consumer or a small-business owner planning for a great 2015, help yourself by taking charge of your cybersecurity and personal privacy to reduce your risk of becoming an ID-theft victim.

Thanks to the support of donations to our non-profit organization, the Identity Theft Resource Center is able to offer 24-hour-a-day assistance to individuals who may be impacted by identity theft. This seven-day-a-week help is crucial to getting consumers the information they need to recover from this increasingly common crime.

While there are a lot of different types of identity theft—medical, tax, employment, social media, and many more—the overwhelming majority of calls to the ITRC help center were for financial identity theft, with 68.1% of all calls in 2014 having to do with someone’s financial identity being compromised.

If it’s never happened to you, it’s still easy to imagine the feeling of panic that would come over you if your wallet or purse was lost or stolen; if it has happened, that feeling is one you know all too well. And while a lost wallet is at best a major inconvenience, in the worst case scenario it can lead to identity theft.

It has been an interesting year for data breaches and identity theft, with a record number of reported incidents making national headlines and coming in to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s call center. These higher-than-ever figures may have a lot to do with reports that data breaches are the top concern among corporate CFOs and that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the US. One poll even went so far as to discover that Americans fear identity theft more than being the victim of a gun-related crime.

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