The FTC said that of all complaints it received, 21 percent were for identity theft, coming in at a total of 278,078 complaints. Though it continues to be the main complaint, it did drop 5 percentage points when compared to 2008.
A recent report from Javelin Strategy and Research notes that last year saw consumers becoming more active when it comes to reporting identity theft. Of the 11.1 million adults who experienced a form of identity fraud in 2009, about half filed a report with a law enforcement agency. As a result, the arrest rate for the crime doubled when compared to 2008.
There are ways that consumers can minimize their risk for identity theft, the effects of which can be devastating. People should make sure that their computers are secured, which may include using a firewall when browsing the internet.
People should also make sure they shred documents that contain personal data and should be careful to whom they provide that information.