The Federal Trade Commission has revealed that once again consumers’ number one complaint in 2014 was identity theft. Certainly with all of the breaches and cyberattacks that have been in the news over the last year – from Home Depot and Chase to Sony and now Anthem – this may not come as a surprise.
What is more interesting are the statistics behind the announcement. This is the 15th consecutive year in which identity theft has led the list of consumer complaints, and of the nearly 2.6 million recorded complaints; over 332,000, representing 13 percent of responses, were identity fraud- related.
Consumers are rightly concerned about privacy and ID issues in light of the breaches, as those whose information is exposed are three times more likely to experience ID theft.
According to Javelin Strategy & Research, which produces an in-depth report on identity theft issues, $16 Billion was stolen from 12.7 million identity fraud victims in 2014. What’s more, an identity was stolen every two seconds in the last year.
The types of cybercrime that occur are as varied as credit and financial fraud to medical identity theft. When costs and remediation time to restore your credit and identity are factored into the equation, the issue warrants even more attention.
Consumers can do something to protect themselves, and this starts with aligning with an identity protection firm, ideally one which utilizes credit, deep internet, social media, and financial and medical monitoring.
There’s no doubt that 2015 will see more breaches and more cases of ID theft, and the likelihood isthat the number one consumer complaint will again be identity related. Don’t let one of these complaints be yours; take the time now to safeguard your identity.
USA Today shared more about the recent FTC report: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/02/27/ftc-top-complaints-2014/24115309/