Just 72 percent of identity-theft victims contacted a police department after discovering that their information had been stolen, the Federal Trade Commission revealed this week.
As reported by technology magazine Wired, the FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network data book for 2009 was released on Wednesday. In it, the FTC said that identity theft was the number-one consumer complaint for the year. Twenty-one percent of all complaints were identity theft-related.
A bit of positive news, though, was that the number of identity theft complaints fell 5 percent from 2008. The drop in identity theft is a sign that more consumers are aware of the threat presented by identity thieves and are actively protecting their personal information.
But victims of identity theft aren't doing all they can to contribute to the conviction of data thieves. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse counsels that identity theft victims should notify law enforcement officials as soon as possible - and, as the FTC said, only 72 percent of victims did so last year.
When notifying law enforcement of theft, the PRC notes, consumers should get a copy of the report that is filed.