Identity theft is a huge problem in this country because there are so many ways a thief can use your information. As a matter of fact, the problem has been so invasive that identity theft has been the number one complaint among consumers for the last 15 years, according to the Annual Summary of Consumer Complaints. The good news is that it didn’t take the top spot in 2015. The bad news is it only stumbled down to number two on the list.
Identity theft complaints skyrocket
Identity theft complaints have skyrocketed 47 percent since 2014, and it’s probably not for the reasons you might think. Although traditional money and bank account scams are still going strong, the number of tax identity theft cases has increased.
Even if identity theft has fallen to the number two spot, the increase in complaints is nothing to shake a stick at. In response to these complaints, the FTC has released a new version of IdentityTheft.gov that allows users to create a personalized identity theft recovery plan. This unique service is provided to the public absolutely free. The website also outlines all of the possible steps you should take if you discover that you are a victim of identity theft.
What took the number one spot?
If identity theft complaints increased and still only took the number two spot after 15 long years of being the top complaint, what in the world could have taken its place? Debt collection is the new number one complaint among consumers.
Why, you ask, would debt collection be such a huge deal in 2015? After all, debt collectors have been pestering us for years. Just like new innovations in identity theft have made it possible for thieves to find new ways to get ahold of your information, new technology has made it easier than ever for debt collectors to do their jobs.
Debt collectors are now calling cell phones in an effort to retrieve payments. In addition, submitting a complaint with the FTC is easier than ever. One data contributor collects complaints using a mobile app.
Remember—just because you experience identity theft doesn’t mean that you have to be a victim. Arming yourself with knowledge and considering an identity theft protection plan are two great ways to make sure that you get your life back on track quickly in the event that an identity thief makes off with your personal information.