Identity theft is the fastest growing consumer complaint, according to the latest annual survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI).
This is unsurprising, given that 12.7 million Americans were victims of $16 billion worth of fraud in 2014, according to a report released in March by Javelin Strategy and Research.
Getting a credit card with a chip in it isn’t going to make the problem go away, either — according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), impersonation theft is on the rise. Much more than a simple hassle, this type of fraud – which often involves someone calling a consumer claiming to be from the IRS – can result in serious credit issues and leave victims thousands of dollars in debt.
Not only can fraudsters screw up your finances, but they can steal your airline miles, your health insurance, and even your social media accounts. And there’s little you can do about it, except pay attention to your credit reports and hope for the best. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t go to South Florida.