New, more secure credit cards have changed the face of identity theft.
For the 15th consecutive year, the greatest complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 had to do with identity theft.
MSN Money reports that there were actually less Americans victimized by some form of identity theft in 2014, referencing data from Javelin Strategy and Research, which reported there were 12.7 million U.S. consumers victims in 2014 with the loss of $16 billion. Javelin’s 2015 Identity Fraud Study said the 2014 total was a 3 percent drop in victims from 2013.
Fortune magazine did a report in early March on the progress, or lack of progress, related to identity theft issues in the United States.
“Last year was not a record for breaches,’’ said Javelin director of fraud and security Al Pascual. “But it captured the public’s attention. In the Target breach, 95 percent of cards were replaced. You had state attorneys general coming out of the woodwork demanding credit monitoring and other protection for victims.”
According to javelin, it takes a year or more to find out that someone has used your identification numbers to do something more than use your credit card, such as take out a loan. If someone uses your identity to take out a loan, they are established enough to get a job or file for a tax refund, using your data. Credit monitoring does not identify such uses quickly in most cases, Pascual said.
There is a sort of reverse identity theft, in which you could get a call from someone who claims to be an official of the federal or state government, and by repeating some of your personal data which they stole, can claim you owe taxes or penalties and demand immediate payment. The FTC says there has been a rise in such impersonation crimes, and reminds everyone that the IRS and other government officials will not demand payment by phone.
The development of new credit card security from a computer chip embedded in the card will make credit card use safer, but will increase attempts by identity thieves to steal information from hospitals and insurance companies, as they did with the Anthem Health hack.
Pascual warns that Millennials are more likely to have their information stolen because they are so accustomed to providing information on social networking sites, where their date of birth is used as an identifying passcode. He said Millennials are more likely to have their identity stolen by someone they know or have a social media relationship with.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.