Identity Theft Leads The Pack

That queasy feeling we all have about identity theft may be justified. The Federal Trade Commission recently released a report listing the consumer complaints received by the agency in 2012. Identity theft was the number one complaint category for 2012. And it’s kind of interesting that government documents/benefits fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by credit card fraud. The identity theft related to government documents accounted for 46% of the reported cases. That put it way ahead of credit card fraud, which accounted for 13% of the reported cases. And the instances of government benefit related identity theft is on the upswing. This report showed a 27% increase since 2010. Of the consumers who reported the method of initial contact, 38% said e-mail was the first contact. And 34% said the initial contact was via telephone. Snail mail accounted for 9% of initial contact. Because government benefits are such a large driver of identity theft, perhaps it’s not surprising that Florida is the state that generated the most complaints. Lots of social security recipients there no doubt. The numbers don’t lie. Be careful out there. And tell your relatives in Florida especially.