Identity theft is a crime that continues to grow nation wide. A study in Maine shows just how much. However, few victims appear to be reporting the crime. More than half the respondents to the 2015 Maine Crime Victimization Survey, published by the Maine Statistical Analysis Center a unit of the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, had been the victim of a crime in past 12 months, while only 23 percent of victims ever file a police report. The study also showed that 36% of respondents had been the victim of identity theft, more than property crime (15 %), stalking (14 %) and violent crime (4 %).
The high rate of identity theft among respondents was partially attributed to the frequency of massive data breaches that have hit some of the largest companies in the U.S., including Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, T-Mobile, and even government agencies, compromising millions of Americans banking and personal information.
Jane Carpenter, founder of Maine Identity Services and an eight-year veteran of the Consumer Protection Division of the Maine attorney general’s office, said “The threat of identity theft and cybercrime now affects how we transact business, how we receive medical treatment and even how countries wage war.”
Identity theft includes the unauthorized use of bank accounts and credit cards, as well as the misuse of personal information, such as dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
As always, call, text, or message me anytime with any questions you have about how you can keep yourself and your family protected from this growing crime. OASISRisk.com