The more things change, the more they stay the same…at least it can feel that way, especially where identity theft is concerned.

While there’s no doubt that heightened awareness and education have made the public more informed about scams and frauds that can impact their data, cybercriminals and “old-fashioned” thieves continue to find ways to steal personal identifiable information.

How big is the problem?

According to recent data, “Last calendar year, the Federal Trade Commission received nearly 500,000 identity theft complaints and the Department of Justice reports that in 2014 17.6 million individuals – 7% of all U.S. residents age 16 and older – were victims of one or more incidents of identity theft.”

The scope of the issue is so large that for quite some time, experts have reclassified the catch-all term “identity theft” into several different types, based on the method thieves used, the demographic of the victims, and other factors. These types include financial identity theft, government identity theft, employment and tax-related fraud, criminal identity theft, child identity theft, medical identity theft, and more.

Identity Theft: Planning for the Future Conference on May 24, 2017

To help keep the national conversation going about identity theft and tools to fight it, the Federal Trade Commission is hosting a webcast conference on May 24th, 2017, with industry experts, advocates, and stakeholders. The goal of this free event is to bring the latest information to the public, as well as give people across a wide variety of platforms the chance to weigh in on these issues.

The full agenda, including panel topics and speakers, can be found here. Highlights will include panel discussions on how identity theft affects victims, how it affects the economy, what resources are available to help people recover, and more.

Participation in this free event is open to the public. For most individuals, the most streamlined way will be to attend via the internet webcast of the event. The link to the webcast will be added to the FTC’s event webpage on the day of the conference.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App.