Visa USA and the Call for Action program are teaming up to fight the fastest growing crime in America, identity theft.
We've heard from countless folks who're victims of identity theft. They didn't do anything wrong. Their personal information somehow wound up in the wrong hands.
An identity thief stole Mark Olsen's good name and credit two years ago.
"The thief even had a driver's license with his picture and my name and social security number on it," Olsen says.
Federal officials say once a minute, someone in the United States becomes the victim of identity theft. A recent survey showed; the biggest problem for victims is the time it took to get things resolved.
Visa USA says it's doing what it can to help. The credit card company says it is shortening the "identifying" numbers, which are printed on receipts.
"This is very, very good news for the consumers. It's very, very bad news for the criminal element, so we're looking at every way we can to drive fraud down, but also to protect the consumer going forward," says Carl Pascarella with Visa USA.
Call for Action's national unit is helping, too, by joining forces with Visa USA. Their joint effort means you can get free, confidential counseling, should you become a victim.
A new Web site also provides advice and services online. Identity theft brochures are also available, free of charge.
For a brochure, send a self addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to:
ID Theft Brochure
KKTV 11 News
3100 North Nevada
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
kktv.com Extended Web Coverage
TransUnion: 800-888-4213 (fraud div.- 800-680-7289)
Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (fraud div.- 888-397-3742)
Equifax: 800- 685-1111 (fraud div.- 800-525-6285)
Source: www.idtheftcenter.org (Identity Theft Resource Center Web site) contributed to this report.