Complaints of identity theft are way up in Illinois, according to the state’s attorney general.
In the list of the top consumer complaints received by the attorney general’s office last year, identity theft and data breaches were second behind concerns about debt collectors and mortgages. The number of complaints about personal financial information becoming compromised jumped from 33 in 2012 to 576 in 2013. Attorney General Lisa Madigan attributes that rise to the major data breaches at Target and Advocate Health Care.
“People really need to recognize that these data breaches, it’s not so much a matter of if they’re gonna happen, it’s a matter of when they’re gonna happen, and how they may impact you,” Madigan said.
Madigan’s advice is if your data has been compromised, you have to keep a close eye on credit card and bank account to identify any unauthorized use quickly.
The top 10 list of consumer complaints received by Madigan’s office last year:
1. Consumer Debt (mortgage lending, debt collections, credit cards) 4,340
2. Identity Theft (fraudulent credit cards and utility accounts, bank fraud) 3,009
3. Telecommunications (wireless service, local phone service, cable/satellite) 1,870
4. Construction/Home Improvement (remodeling, roofs/gutters) 1,688
5. Motor Vehicles/Used Auto Sales (as-is sales, financing, warranties) 1,167
6. Promotions & Schemes (sweepstakes, pyramid, work-at home scams) 879
7. Mail Order (Internet purchases, catalog ordering, television/radio) 833
8. Fraud Against Business (consulting, directories/publications) 777
9. Motor Vehicle/Non-Warranty Repair (collision/body, engines) 526
10. Travel (time shares, promotions/sales, travel agents) 439