view scam advisoriesAs the Authorities Swap Commissioning releases its latest Consumer Scout period of time study on identity theft, we mentation we'd film a feeling at late reports and our ain insurance coverage to fetch a deeper story of apprehension to the law-breaking and rails its flight over the old age.

The add up of identicalness stealing complaints to the FTC increased significantly passim a great deal of the finis decade, as we reported in 2007 and 2008. Identity operator stealing was the well-nigh mutual ill from consumers to the FTC by far, method of accounting for 21% of altogether complaints in 2008. (The succeeding largest category, concerning problems with debt collectors, accounted for upright 9% of wholly complaints.)

As our break and chair Hug drug Levin points out, the FTC's complaint data probably grossly underestimates the individuality thievery problem, for a few reasons. Many the great unwashed ne'er divulge they've been put-upon by personal identity thieves. When they finally do find the crime, they may call in it something else, the likes of theft, fifty-fifty if what's stolen is their drivers' license, Societal Surety scorecard or deferred payment card, which rear end leave straight off to identicalness theft.

[Related: The Javelin Conundrum: Making Sense of the Latest Identity Theft Numbers]

Topical anaesthetic police departments let the Lapp problem, since unequal crimes the like slay or burglary, there's no uniform method acting for filing and trailing personal identity stealing cases. Finally, few consumers screw that the FTC even gathers individuality stealing data, or that they sack file away their complaints with the delegacy.

Because of these problems, we essay to cover up reports and studies around identicalness thievery from former sources. In February I wrote more or less a newfangled study by Javelin Scheme & Research, which ground that individuality larceny actually declined 28% from 2009 to 2010. The findings reenforce results from the FTC's 2009 Spotter report, which constitute that the numerate of consumer complaints dropped 11.5% between 2008 and 2009.

[Tool: Quickly assess your risk of identity theft for free]

Meanwhile, the proliferation of elite media gives identity element thieves many raw targets to Leigh Hunt. In January, Brian O'Connell covered a reputation by Sophos, an IT firm, which institute that 40% of follow respondents standard malware from societal networking sites in 2010, a 90% growth from the twelvemonth in front. Phishing attacks double in the Lapp clock time period, striking 43% of respondents.

If time period reports appear a picayune linear in this senesce of up-to-the-instant word updates, Brian too new wrote all but a fresh throw by Norton, the data processor security measure software maker, to farm a cyber crime indicator that estimates the changing adventure of identity element theft on a each day cornerstone. (The in vogue index number describe we checked situated the jeopardy of personal identity larceny at "Low.")

Image: Jacques Louis David Goehring, via

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