DMA helps consumers fight identity theft

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SAN FRANCISCO - The Direct Marketing Association has launched a new consumer education campaign that draws on the resources of the direct marketing community to help consumers deter, detect and defend themselves against identity theft.

The announcement was made on Oct. 16 at the DMA06 conference and exhibition here.

"Awareness is one of the most powerful tools in the fight against identity theft," DMA president/CEO John A. Greco Jr. said in his keynote. "Our members have at their disposal millions of daily touch points with consumers across all direct marketing channels. We want them to do what they do best - get this relevant and important message to people who need to hear it."

Working in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission and its "AvoID Theft" campaign, the DMA has developed consumer education materials that members can customize and integrate with their own marketing efforts.

The goal of the campaign is to provide information to consumers on how they can avoid becoming victims of identity theft, and what to do if they suspect their personal information is being misused.

Drawing on materials developed by the FTC, the DMA has created brochures, inserts, online advertisements and other template materials that can be co-branded by member organizations and seamlessly integrated into current or planned direct marketing campaigns.

The DMA has also created a Web site like www.avoIDtheft.org with tips and tools for consumers that DMA members can link to from their Web sites.

The message created by the FTC explains simply and effectively how consumers can deter identity theft by safeguarding their personal information; detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring financial accounts and billing statements; and defend against identity theft as soon as a problem is suspected.

DMA members can preview campaign materials and obtain electronic files at www.the-dma.org/idtheft.

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