Oregon has third-highest ID theft complaints


A report by Federal Trade Commission finds the Beaver State has a high rate of identity theft.

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BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

A report by the Federal Trade Commission found Oregon has the third-highest rate of identity theft.

The Statesman Journal’s Laura Fosmire reports on the study with a comment from officials with the National Consumers League:

“Oregon traditionally has been ranked in the 30s in terms of per capita ID theft complaint rates for the FTC,” said John Breyault, vice president of the National Consumers League. “And then this year (2014), they jumped to no. 3. And it looks like it’s been because of a significant increase in the number of complaints about tax ID theft.”

Florida and Washington were the only states with higher rates.

Oregon reported 4,946 identity theft complaints to the FTC for 2014. That means that for every 100,000 people, there were approximately 124 complaints of identity theft. More than 60 percent of Oregon’s identity theft complaints were related to government documents or tax fraud.

“That’s pretty much a jump of over 3,000 complaints about identity theft coming from Oregon,” Breyault said in Fosmire’s story. “We’ve certainly seen government documents and tax ID fraud as a big concern for a number of years, but that certainly seems to be what’s driving the increase in documents and benefits fraud.”

The average victim paid $1,830, according to Portland Business Journal.

One reason for the condition: Data breaches, in general, are continuing unabated. Javelin Strategy & Research reports that nearly one in three data breach victims will also experience identity fraud.

Tips for avoiding identity theft include creating strong and unique passwords (with combinations of letters, numbers and symbols), avoiding clicking on suspicious links and reviewing credit reports regularly.

 




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