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FTC: ID Theft Doubled in 2020

The Federal Trade Commission said a surge in reports of identity theft occurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 1.4 million reports of identity theft in 2020 - twice the number from 2019.

The agency released the new data as part of its kickoff of Identity Theft Awareness Week.

"Repeatedly, identity thieves targeted government funds earmarked to help individuals and small businesses hard hit financially by the pandemic," the FTC said in a post today.

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Last year, the FTC logged 394,280 reports related to government benefits fraud (mostly unemployment insurance benefits) versus 12,900 such reports in 2019. The agency received 99,650 business or personal loan fraud reports in 2020, up from 43,920 in 2019, and tax identity fraud cases reported to the FTC went from 27,450 in 2019 to 89,390 last year.

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