The Identity Theft Resource Center has a multi-fold mission when it comes to identity theft. Part of its purpose is to operate a 24-hour, toll-free call center in order to help victims of identity theft, and to distribute updated information with its ID Theft Help app for iOS and Android at the touch of a button.
Another part of the ITRC’s focus is to keep consumers informed about the latest in scams and fraud attempts. Of course, the ITRC also works to help law enforcement and policymakers stay on top of the latest identity theft trends in order to do their best to protect the public.
Part of the effort to track the identity theft trends involves keeping up with the calls that come into the victim help center. By knowing what types of identity theft victims are reporting, industry watchers and stakeholders can get a better sense of viable threats.
In May, there were a few shifts in the reports. Financial identity theft, which maintains a consistent position as the most common type of identity theft, was at its second highest percentage of calls for the year at 53.6% of the month’s total call volume. Throughout the first few months of 2016, financial identity theft fluctuated slightly as other forms of the crime increased, but with tax season behind us, financial identity theft is returning to a more typical percentage.
Government identity theft was at its second lowest percentage for the year at 31.5% of calls, almost as low as January’s reported numbers. Since government identity theft encompasses tax return fraud, it’s no surprise that the reports to the call center were at their highest between February and April, after the deadline for W2 distribution passed and before the deadline to actually file your returns happened.
In other categories, child identity theft (1.8%), criminal identity theft (5.8%), and medical identity theft (2.0%) were all at their lowest for the year, while internet takeover (18.3%) was at its highest reported percentage of 2016.
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.