A 2009 study indicates that identity theft is still the biggest source of U.S. consumer fraud, costing the country $57 billion last year. Last year, about 8 million cases were reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
In identity theft, someone virtually invades your life, taking pieces of your personal identifying information as his or her own and selling it or using it for their own benefit. It can be a tough and time-consuming problem to correct once itís happened to you. Stealing a personís identity is easier now than ever, thanks to computers and public access to personal data.
While new laws help and support identity theft victims as much as possible, the nature of the crime makes the perpetrator difficult to identify and prosecute. Catching the criminal is usually the biggest challenge in identity theft.