January 25, 2006 2:22 PM PST

ID theft tops list of fraud complaints

Identity theft continues to plague consumers, topping the list of fraud complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission last year.

Consumers filed more than 255,000 identity theft reports to the FTC in 2005, accounting for more than a third of all complaints, the agency said Wednesday. Bogus Internet auctions, foreign money offers, catalog sales and sweepstakes rounded out the top five fraud categories. Also on the list were fake Internet and telephone services.

In all, Internet-related complaints accounted for 46 percent of all fraud reports, the agency said. Internet fraud that involves wire transfers is on the rise. The percentage of such incidents has tripled since 2003, according to the FTC.

Yet studies have shown that most identity theft, including the most severe cases, has nothing to do with the Internet. In 2004, computer crimes accounted for only 11.6 percent of identity fraud in which the cause was known, according to a Better Business Bureau and Javelin Strategy & Research study. Half of those crimes stemmed from spyware, software that surreptitiously tracks users online.

In addition, few people whose personal information has been exposed via computers are ever victimized, despite all the attention the media has paid to the issue.

According to the FTC, electronic fund transfers were the most frequently reported type of bank fraud tied to identity theft. But most ID thieves target credit cards, followed by phone or utilities accounts, bank accounts and employers.

The metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Bernardino, Calif., reported the highest per capita rates of identity theft, the FTC said.

Consumers filed complaints online or via a toll-free number. The FTC shares the data with more than 1,400 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as law enforcement and consumer protection agencies in Canada and Australia.

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With all the stink about ID Theft these days, why.........?
One would think that, with all the media attention that one sees about Identity Theft these days, everybody would be protecting themselves from it with the best protection available.

If this were true, though, you would not be hearing near as much about it as you do.

Question:

If you have found a service to help you protect yourself, then which one and why did you choose it?

I know I found one I am satisfied with that offers COMPLETE RESTORATION SERVICES, but in the interest of not having this flagged as an advertisement, I will only reveal it if asked.

Tell us who you like and why. I, for one, am very interested...
Posted by ID_Protector (2 comments )
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ID Theft In the News... Timing + Tax Season
"Identity Protector":

ID Theft is in the news for a few reasons:

1.) Some of the FTC cases are finally getting a final rulings
2.) New Browser Versions like Netscape 8.1 are bundled with security measures
3.) Tax Time - People are starting to get their W-2's, checking out annualcreditreport.com and finding things out that may not be too savory.

An extension of it is Intellectual Property. People not only want to protect their identity, but also their creative or technological property (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ipnewsblog" target="_newWindow">http://www.ipnewsblog</a> and <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.iwantmyess.com/?page_id=16" target="_newWindow">http://www.iwantmyess.com/?page_id=16</a>)
Posted by marileev (292 comments )
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