NCSA's Statement Regarding the FTC's 2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book
Today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its annual report on consumer complaint categories. Again, and for the 15th year in a row, the top consumer complaint is identity theft with over 330,000 complaints logged by the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book in 2014 (http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/02/identity-theft-tops-ftcs-consumer-complaint-categories-again-2014).
Consumer concerns about ID theft and financial loss have repeatedly led the list of a broad range of issues consumers face every day in their lives. According to a privacy study released by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) on Data Privacy Day this past January, consumers rated having financial information lost or stolen as a higher concern than being involved in a car accident due to distracted driving, or being a victim of crime in their community (http://bit.ly/1awkD0e)
While 330,000 reports to the FTC may seem like a big number, the reality is the number of ID theft cases is likely significantly higher. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported more than 16 million victims of ID theft in 2012 with financial loses of over $24 billion (http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/vit12pr.cfm).
“In the wake of large data breaches and because identity theft can cause financial and emotional stress, Americans remain concerned about the loss of data that can lead to financial loss,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “We need to continue our vigilance and diligence to build a safer, more secure and trusted Internet.”
Stronger account security and basic cybersecurity practices are key to being safer online. Consumers should take the following online safety steps:
For more information, visit www.stopthinkconnect.org.