Each month, The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) analyzes the volume of calls received via 24-hour toll-free call center.
The objective behind this analysis is to learn more about what specific types of identity theft that are affecting consumers, and to get a clearer picture of where education and advocacy need to be emphasized. This snapshot each month gives the organization a better idea of where to focus its efforts, and helps map current trends.
In May, more than half the calls to the ITRC’s Call Center were for financial identity theft, making that the most common call to the center for the month. Financial identity theft can include bank account takeovers, having lines of credit opened in the victim’s name or check fraud.
Government identity theft continued to be a problem for callers, but dropped from 43.1% to 30.4% of the calls received by advisors. This drop is most likely due to the end of the normal tax season. Government identity theft involves obtaining government benefits in the victim’s name, working as the victim or filing taxes under the victim’s identity. Victims of tax identity theft will most likely continue to call the center for help as they are made aware of tax issues by the IRS.
Callers with Internet takeover issues, such as losing access to email or social network accounts, made up 17.4% of calls and callers with cases of child identity theft made up only 4% of calls. Other types of cases included criminal identity theft (7.2%) and medical identity theft (2.2%). Criminal identity theft is the use of the victim’s personal information in the commission of a crime and can be especially devastating with victim’s potentially having warrants issued for their arrest or even spending time in jail. Victims of medical identity theft have their personal information used to receive medical services such as a visit to the emergency room or even plastic surgery.
The ITRC remains focused on providing assistance to victims and potential victims of identity theft. If you or someone you know is experiencing identity theft and needs assistance, call 888.400.5530 for 24/7 help free of charge.