Feeds

US hit for $548m in fraud losses

ID theft tops league

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Identity theft topped the list of complaints received by the US Federal Trade Commission for the fifth successive year, accounting for 39 per cent of consumer fraud complaints filed with the agency last year. Credit card fraud was the most common form of reported ID theft (28 per cent), followed by phone or utilities fraud (19 per cent), bank fraud (18 per cent), and employment fraud (13 per cent).

Americans reported fraud losses of $548m to the FTC last year. Of these 635,173 complaints, 246,570 concerned ID theft and 388,603 were about other forms of fraud.

Internet-related complaints accounted for 53 per cent of fraud reports (and $265m of reported losses), with problems involving online auctions proving a particular problem. Gripes about net auctions featured in over 102,000 complaints to the FTC last year (16 per cent of total reports). The top 10 of consumer fraud complaints for 2004 also included: catalogue sales - eight per cent of total complaints; internet services and computer complaints - six per cent; foreign money offers - six per cent; prizes/sweepstakes and lotteries - five per cent; advance-fee loans and credit protection - three per cent; business opportunities and work-at-home - two per cent and telephone services - two per cent.

Consumers can file fraud and identity theft complaints on the FTC's website. The agency collates this information with data from other law enforcement and consumer protection agencies to create a comprehensive database. This information helps law enforcers co-ordinate actions, avoid duplication and spot trends in consumer fraud.

Washington DC, Las Vegas and San Jose, California were 'hot spots' for consumer fraud, according to FTC reports. Last Vegas (again); Phoenix, Arizona and San Bernardino, California generated the highest per-capita reports of ID theft. The FTC's report, National and State Trends in Fraud and Identity Theft, can be found here (PDF). ®

Related stories

US jails Brit credit card fraud mastermind for 14 years
Internet fraud is easy, says judge...
'Integrity of eBay markeplace' at risk - sellers' group

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Boffins build FREE SUPERCOMPUTER from free cloud server trials
Who cares about T&Cs when there's LIteCoin to mint?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.