- Consumer Sentinel Network
- The President's Identity Theft Task Force
- FTC Survey
- 2012 Javelin Strategy & Research Report
- Immigration Fraud
- It Can Happen to Anyone
- A Big Problem
- Terrorism and Identity Theft
- What Do Identity Thieves Do?
- Phishing-Go Phish
- Who Do You Trust?
- How Do You Know That You Have Been a Victim of Phishing?
- What You Can Do to Prevent Identity Theft
According to a survey of the Federal Trade Commission, 27.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft within a five-year period. Fifty-two percent of identity theft victims first learned that they had been victimized by monitoring their own accounts. Twenty-six percent of victims first learned from credit card issuers, banks, or other companies with which they did business that they had been the victims of identity theft; 8 percent of the victims first found out that their identity had been stolen when they applied for credit and were turned down. The survey also revealed that most identity thieves use personal information to buy things; however, 15 percent of all victims were victimized in non-financial ways, such as when an identity thief used the victim’s identity when apprehended for another crime by police. Sixty-seven percent of identity theft victims found that their existing credit card accounts were improperly accessed, and 19 percent of identity theft victims said that their checking or savings accounts had been looted.
According to the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for the year 2011, the state with the highest number of identity theft victims proportionate to its population was Florida, followed by Arizona and California. North Dakota had the fewest number of complaints of identity theft, with only 23.2 complaints for every 100,000 people in 2011. The report also ranked identity theft as the number-one consumer complaint for each of the past 12 years.
The FTC has been helping identity theft victims since 1998 and has an excellent Identity Theft Program to help victims and provide information to help combat this problem. If you are the victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint with the FTC by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) or going online at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. When a complaint is made, the information is stored and made available to law enforcement agencies around the country. Victims should not be concerned that the information will make them susceptible to further identity theft; the database is safe and secure.