The Federal Trade Commission has released their 2010 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Report.
In 2010 Government documents/benefits fraud (19%) was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by credit card fraud (15%), phone or utilities fraud (14%), and employment fraud (11%). Other significant categories of identity theft reported by victims were bank fraud (10%) and loan fraud (4%).
Nevada was third worst for Fraud complains and fifth worst for Identity Theft complains per capita.
This continues to mean you do not need a great credit rating to be a victim of identity theft. Thieves are now using social security numbers and other personal indentifying information to gain employment and benefits. If someone is using your personal identity illegally, your benefits could be depleted when you apply for them. The IRS could demand you pay the tax on the income earned by the thief.
Your only defense can be the annual free reports to monitor your credit and consumer information. You are entitled to one free report every 12 months. These reports are not only your credit reports, but also your Medical Information, Work History, Insurance reports and many more free reports to allow you to know if someone is posing as you. My seminars give you the knowledge you need to manage your risk.
The Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) is a secure online database of millions of consumer complaints available only to law enforcement. In addition to storing complaints received by the FTC, the CSN also includes complaints filed with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, Better Business Bureaus, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, and the National Fraud Information Center, among others. This year, we also began receiving complaints from the North Carolina Department of Justice, the Idaho and Mississippi Attorneys General, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Publishers Clearing House, MoneyGram International and PrivacyStar.
The 2010 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book is based on unverified complaints reported by consumers. The data is not based on a consumer survey.
For more information about the Consumer Sentinel Network, visit www.FTC.gov/sentinel .