Trends in Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released its Annual List of Top Consumer Complaints. This year–for the seventh year in a row–Identity Theft is at the top of the list, having garnered 36% of the 674,354 complaints the FTC has received.

The FTC operates a site called Consumer Sentinel, which acts as a repository for consumer fraud complaints and the database source for the report. Technical changes in the counting methodologies make comparisons to previous years difficult, although overall fraud instances appear to be roughly flat from last year.

The most common form of identity theft is credit card fraud, which, fortunately, provides recourse for consumers. Other forms of fraud can impose great burdens on consumers to clear their records, let alone to recover moneys lost.

{Identity theft will skyrocket because this Administration is building an electronic health system with open access to every American’s personal health information by over 4 million health-related businesses and government agencies. Only Congress can stop federal agencies and the Administration from eliminating our Constitutional and common law rights to medical privacy in order to control costs and save lives. We don’t have to choose between privacy and the benefits of health technology. We can have it all: privacy and save lives and lower costs—but only if we use ‘smart’ technology and only if Congress grants Americans a federal right to medical privacy. ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}

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