With all the news of major corporate data breaches, it’s easy to forget that the “old fashioned” methods still work when it comes to identity theft. We might envision highly-skilled hackers using their tech skills to break into a system, but sometimes, it’s far simpler than that.
$5.8 billion… that’s how much the IRS believes it paid out in fraudulent refunds to identity thieves in 2013. Five-point-eight billion dollars. In one year. That figure has plagued the revenue service for some time, as it’s close to the estimated fraudulent payouts the IRS issues every year.
Roughly 2.3 million Americans adults, averaging 6,300 every single day, were medical ID-theft victims in 2014.
Child identity theft is growing at an alarming rate, and it often goes unnoticed for years at a time. It occurs when an individual uses the personal identifiable information of a minor—obviously without consent—to open new accounts or lines of credit. The consequences can be very serious, and can negatively impact a victim’s ability to get a job, enroll in college, qualify for financial aid and scholarships, and even join the military.
Each month, The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) analyzes the volume of calls received via 24-hour toll-free call center.
Part of why identity theft is such a growing crime is because---at least on the surface—it seems so easy. If you have a few pieces of information and a little bit of time on your hands, you can attempt to make off with serious money.