Identity theft is America's fastest-growing crime.
Last year alone, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, a crime that cost them roughly $5 billion.
The number of ID theft victims and their total losses are probably much higher. It's hard to pin down, because law enforcement agencies may classify ID theft differently--it can involve credit card fraud, Internet fraud, or mail theft, among other crimes.
The FTC reported that only four percent of victims cited stolen mail as the source of personal information. Even so, U.S. Postal Inspectors, charged with protecting the nation’s mail system from criminal misuse, are leaders in the fight against identity theft.
Postal Inspectors provide these ID theft tips:
Review your consumer credit reports annually.
Shred and destroy unwanted documents that contain personal information.
Deposit mail in U.S. Postal Service collection boxes.
Don’t leave mail in your mailbox overnight or on weekends.
For more information...
Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, 18 USC § 1028(a)(7)Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, 18 USC
Identity theft is a criminal offense. It occurs when a person knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit or to aid or abet any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.