Identity Crime Reports Jumped to Record Level in 2021, Group Says

What’s happening

Reports of identity related crimes rose to a record level in 2021, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Why it matters

The pandemic continued to fuel an increase in the theft of unemployment benefits last year. Meanwhile, other criminals are looking to take over social media accounts for their own gain.

Reports of identity related thefts and scams jumped to record levels last year, as the COVID pandemic continued to boost criminal attempts to steal the unemployment and other government benefits of deserving consumers, the Identity Theft Resource Center said Wednesday.

The ITRC, a nonprofit that helps victims of identity theft, said it was contacted nearly 15,000 times in 2021 by regular people looking for help. That represents a 26% jump from 2020’s total, as well as the biggest total since the center was founded in 1999.

“With high water marks for identity fraud, compromises, and misuse, it’s important to take protective measures like freezing your credit, using strong 12 plus character unique passphrases on all of your accounts and…

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