The Identity Theft Resource Center fields hundreds of victim help requests every single month through its website, its ID Theft Help app, and its 24-hour toll-free call center. As part of its mission to keep law enforcement agencies and policymakers aware of the ongoing and evolving threat of identity theft, the ITRC compiles data on the types of help requests that come in.
Each month, the ITRC releases the statistics on these requests in order to provide a clear picture of the current trends. For June 2016, there were some interesting shifts in the types of requests that came in, when compared to other months earlier in the year.
One of the most interesting changes was in the most common form of the crime, financial identity theft. Whether it’s due to credit card fraud, fraudulent access to the victim’s bank account, or even a new high-dollar purchase through a line of credit using someone else’s information, this tends to be the matter that stands out in consumers’ minds when they think of identity theft. By far, more calls come in each month about this issue than any other type, but in June there was a significant increase in financial identity theft calls; at 60.7% of the total call volume for June, it was at its highest percentage for this form of the crime all year.
Another surprising finding was that government identity theft calls experienced a sharp increase in June. This type of crime tends to peak in the early part of the year, since most of the calls involve tax return fraud and stolen tax identities. The highest percentage of calls for the year was in February, and the volume began to slowly but steadily decrease each month after that. For some reason, there was a sudden increase in calls related to government identity theft in June, and at 32.8% of the call volume, it was at its second highest percentage for the entire year.
Two other forms of identity theft—criminal identity theft and internet takeover—were at their lowest percentages of call volume for the entire year in June, at 5.8% and 8.3% of call volume respectively. Unfortunately, child identity theft complaints nearly tripled over the previous month, while medical identity theft calls remained at a very typical percentage.
Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, anyone can use our services, and anyone can help us help others. If you found this information useful, please consider donating to the Identity Theft Resource Center to help us keep our services free to the public.