The following companies are the most recent victims, they represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ID theft:
AIG -- June 2006 -- personal data stolen from computers -- 930,000 customers
Boeing -- Dec 2006 -- personal date stolen, laptop recovered --382,000 customers
JC Penney -- Jan 2008 --personal data stolen -- 650,000 customers
Google -- July 2008 --personal data stolen -- undisclosed number of employees
Countrywide Home Loans -- Aug 2008 -- personal data stolen, thieves caught -- 20,000 customers
Consumers can't prevent ID theft when it happens to a lender or credit company.
Close accounts, paying off monthly debt and keeping only one or two cards per name limits damage to individual. Report ANY questionable purchase or credit line to company. Watch credit score.