What is identity theft? Know the warning signs

There are many advantages to living in the digital age. Unfortunately, identity theft isn’t one of them. Because so much of our personal information is online or on our electronic devices, it’s much easier for fraudsters to steal identifying data than it once was. Thieves no longer need to dumpster dive to look through discarded credit card applications or bank statements to find someone’s personal information. Instead, they can steal information from data breaches or hack into old computer hard drives. Some criminals have even gone to the trouble to create malware to infect computers, use deceptive email or websites, or browse social networking sites to compile data. 

Just how big a problem is identity theft? According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers filed 5.7 million fraud reports in 2021, valued at more than $5.8 billion. Of these, 25% were specific to identity theft, which saw a 113% increase year-over-year.

identity theft scanning

(Image credit: Tumisu from Pixabay)

Common victims


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