Experts warn identity theft is on the rise nationwide
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - New data is showing identity theft is on the rise. A new survey from U.S. News & World Report
shows in 2022 the Federal Trade Commission received more than 1.1 million reports of identity theft and experts say that number is only expected to rise.
Last month U.S. News & World report surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers who have experienced identity theft.
“Well nearly half of our respondents about 42% have been victims of social media identity theft because there is so much of your life that is on social media and people are often not very circumspect about what they put that is a big one, that is a major form. About 30% were victim to one company data breach. There are other forms as well people calling you and pretending to be someone they’re not especially with AI now that they can simulate voices. They can simulate a loved one voice and claim to be in trouble and need your money which is a new emerging form of identity theft,” says Senior Editor for Privacy and Technology at U.S. News & World Report, Jeff Kinney.
The report found that more than a quarter (27%) of U.S. identity theft victims have experienced identity fraud more than once and nearly one in five victims continue to face financial loss today as a consequence of identity theft.
“They can be pretty sophisticated. They can look like the institution they are pretending to be. They can copy your bank’s logo. They can copy the email signature that the bank uses. There are often little differences if you look closely but most people don’t. They just see their bank name and what happens is that you go not to your bank but you go to the hacker’s website and then whatever you enter in there the hacker can record,” says Kinney.
Kinney says paying attention to suspicious activity is important.
“If you think it might be from your bank call your bank or whoever it is and talk to their customer service agents and confirm it,” says Kinney.
Experts say some ways to reduce your risk include using a VPN to keep your online activity protected, a password manager to keep your account access secure, and antivirus software that can prevent malware and phishing scams.
“Just be vigilant and know where your data is, what you’ve been doing with your money and what you haven’t been doing with your money so that if anything looks amiss you can recognize it right away,” says Kinney.
To see the full survey click here.
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