Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports active duty service members were 76 percent more likely than other adults to report identity theft from misused existing bank accounts or credit cards, and 22 percent more likely to report their stolen information was misused to open a new account, according to an FTC press release.
The FTC’s Consumer Protection Data Spotlight – which was based on complaints submitted to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network – showed active duty service members were nearly three times as likely to report identity theft through the use of debit cards or other electronic means to take money from their bank account.
Reports indicated that securing personal information may present special challenges for active duty troops. According to the Spotlight, nearly 14 percent of active duty service members who reported identity theft said that a family member or someone they knew misused their identity, compared to just 7 percent of other adults.
Reports also suggested that this type of family member identity theft often happened when people had access to important documents or financial records left behind during military assignments. MilitaryConsumer.gov is a resource for service members, veterans, and their families to avoid scams and manage money.
The FTC works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. Consumers can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). To learn more, like the FTC on Facebook, follow the FTC on Twitter, read FTC blogs, subscribe to FTC press releases, or visit www.ftc.gov.
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