According to the latest figures from Javelin Strategy & Research more than 15 million consumers were victims of identity theft last year which is an increase of 16% over the previous year. The cost of identity theft was estimated last year to exceed 16 billion dollars.
Identity theft is one of the most pervasive and insidious crimes of today, a crime that can tremendously disrupt your life. It can result in you being jailed for a crime you did not commit when an identity thief commits crimes using your name. Identity theft can even be deadly in the case of medical identity theft when an identity thief accesses your medical insurance and his or her medical records become mixed in with yours which can result in your receiving the wrong blood type for a blood transfusion.
Identity theft can ruin your credit, make it difficult to rent an apartment, get a loan, buy insurance or get a job. In addition, identity thieves can steal your property without you even knowing it is happening.
Identity theft is the biggest and fastest-growing crime in the world and with good reason. It is easy to perpetrate and easy to get away with.
No one is immune from identity theft – children, the elderly, and even the dead can have their identities stolen.
Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a special website with detailed instructions and forms to help you if you have become a victim of identity theft. Here is a link to that website: