Imagine criminals want to steal your household belongings and you watch only one door — even though there are three doors. If you have or are contemplating purchasing credit monitoring, that's not bad, but it absolutely won't help stop the biggest and most prevalent forms of ID theft.

National Consumer Protection Week 2015 takes place March 1-7. As part of this initiative, ITRC blogs this week will provide tips to protect consumers from scams, fraud, and identity theft. For more information about this yearly event, visit ncpw.gov to find free materials from government and private organizations. Be an informed consumer; avoid scams and fraud!

Identity Theft #1 Complaint to the FTC for 15th Consecutive Year

Identity Theft Resource Center

 

Identity theft once again ranks as the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, according to today’s release of the FTC’s 2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. The FTC’s annual data compiles consumer complaints from across the country and for the past 15 years it has found identify theft as the top complaint. This consistency in consumer complaints over this long time period is telling – and troubling. The problem is clearly not only attributable to headline-grabbing data breaches in recent years. 

Each month, the Identity Theft Resource Center hosts an informative Twitter chat on ways to protect the public from fraud and scams. Be sure to join us for our monthly Twitter chat on Thursday, March 12th at 2pm ET/11am PT with our co-host, Fraud of the Day. Our topic this month is “Identity Fraud and How it Relates to Government Programs,” and will provide insight into how government identity theft affects its victims.

In an effort to follow the most widespread forms of identity theft and keep the public informed of these threats, the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center keeps up with the types of calls that come into its 24-hour free call center. While the ITRC typically releases news of the types of ID theft that have the highest numbers of calls each month, last month provided some interesting and very telling insight into identity theft.

Identity theft is a crime that impacts millions of people a year; it can be unsettling and upsetting, to say the least. The process of cleaning up the aftermath of identity theft can lead to feelings of powerlessness, embarrassment, and frustration, feelings that no one should have to endure. If your identity has been compromised in some way, it’s important that you understand what steps you can take in order to relinquish those feelings and move forward.

Each month, the Identity Theft Resource Center tracks the calls that come into its non-profit, 24-hour call center in order to get a better picture of the types of crimes that are affecting consumers’ personally identifiable information. Last month, the top crime was once again financial identity theft, with 61% of the call volume for January 2015 reporting this crime.

 

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