Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

2/26/2009
01:52 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

FTC Report: Identity Theft Remains Consumers' No. 1 Fraud Complaint

Number of identity theft complaints rose 20 percent from 2007 to 2008

Identity theft remains the top category of fraud affecting consumers, and it jumped considerably last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission's annual consumer complaint report released today.

The FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network Complaint Data Book report for 2008 shows the number of identity theft complaints up around 20 percent from 2007, from 259,266 in '07 to 313,982 in '08. Identity theft represents 26 percent of all consumer fraud complaints, followed by third-party and creditor debt collection (9 percent), shop-at-home and catalog sales (4 percent), and Internet services (4 percent) and other forms of fraud.

The FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network is a database used by law enforcement to log consumer fraud complaints.

The marked increase in identity theft complaints is significant in that the number of these reports had stayed mostly flat from 2006 to 2007, says Tom Rusin, president of Affinion Security Center, which provides personal data security services for consumers and businesses. Rusin says the jump may be due to several factors, including the high number of enterprise breaches last year, as well as fallout from the financial crisis. "As banks consolidate today, consumers expect to get more information [electronically] from their bank," Rusin says. "That's an opportunity for identity thieves to do phishing attacks."

Rusin says the report also highlights how, contrary to popular belief, identity theft isn't just about bank card fraud; while 20 percent of the ID theft cases reported last year were bank card fraud, around 30 percent originated from document fraud, such as Social Security Number theft and employment fraud. Many people don't realize that document fraud is also ID theft, Rusin says.

The FTC report also shows what bad guys do with stolen identities. While 20 percent was pure credit card fraud, government documents or benefits fraud accounted for 15 percent, employment fraud for 15 percent, and phone or utilities, 13 percent.

"[Around] 40 percent of identity theft had nothing to do with bank or credit cards," Rusin notes. "It was stealing personal information, for working here illegally, fraudulent tax returns, [etc.]," he says.

Agewise, 20- to 39-year-olds still bear the brunt of identity theft fraud, with around 49 percent of complaints from this demographic, according to the FTC report -- a trend that has been consistent during the past three years. Interestingly, 65 percent of identity theft victims last year did not contact the police. "This just shows that most people don't know where to turn," Rusin says.

And Arizona is still the No. 1 state for identity theft complaints, with 149 per 100,000 people, followed by California, Florida, and Texas. These states typically house a wealth of assets, Rusin says, which makes them attractive for identity thieves.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-16632
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
A XSS Vulnerability in /uploads/dede/action_search.php in DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 allows an authenticated user to execute remote arbitrary code via the keyword parameter.
CVE-2021-32073
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-15
DedeCMS V5.7 SP2 contains a CSRF vulnerability that allows a remote attacker to send a malicious request to to the web manager allowing remote code execution.
CVE-2021-33033
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The Linux kernel before 5.11.14 has a use-after-free in cipso_v4_genopt in net/ipv4/cipso_ipv4.c because the CIPSO and CALIPSO refcounting for the DOI definitions is mishandled, aka CID-ad5d07f4a9cd. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2021-33034
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
In the Linux kernel before 5.12.4, net/bluetooth/hci_event.c has a use-after-free when destroying an hci_chan, aka CID-5c4c8c954409. This leads to writing an arbitrary value.
CVE-2019-25044
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
The block subsystem in the Linux kernel before 5.2 has a use-after-free that can lead to arbitrary code execution in the kernel context and privilege escalation, aka CID-c3e2219216c9. This is related to blk_mq_free_rqs and blk_cleanup_queue.