FTC: Identity theft remains to be the most common consumer complaint in the U.S.
As the digital age continues to grow at a blinding speed, threats over the Internet are also on the rise. According to a new report published by the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is still the number one consumer complaint in the U.S.
Identity theft has been on top of the list since 2010.
Identity theft happens when an attacker steals and uses a person's personal information without permission. It is a crime that can damage a person's life and reputation, not to mention the loss of money.
The FTC reported a whopping $1.6 billion loss to fraud last year. Of the 2 million complaints received by the FTC, 290,056 or 14 percent involved identity theft.
Trailing behind the list are "Debt Collection," which accounts to 204,644 complaints, and "Banks and Lenders" with 152,707 complaints. The report also revealed that Florida has the highest rate of identity theft cases, followed by Georgia and California.
Around 43 percent of the fraud victims were reached through email, while 20 percent were contacted through websites. Another 20 percent of the victims said they were telephoned.
“Americans of all ages are vulnerable to identity theft, and it remains the most common consumer complaint to the Commission,” said Jessica Rich, director, Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We urge consumers to visit FTC.gov/idtheft for tips to prevent and mitigate the damage from identity theft.”
Scammers and hackers are raking in money from stealing personal information online. According to a report published by Dell's SecureWorks, scammers are buying collections of documents containing personal information, email addresses, phone numbers, and even bank and credit accounts.
Called "fullz," these electronic dossiers can be purchased at just $25 each. SecureWorks noted that the price of these so called "fullz" dramatically dropped to 37 percent two years ago.