Identity Theft in the Philadelphia Area
According to information posted by MoneyWise.com, identity theft complaints nationwide increased about 20% in 2018 according to the Federal Trade Commission. The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area is 35th for identity theft, with 149 complaints for every 100,000 residents. Statewide, Pennsylvania is 20th with 107 identity thefts for every 100,000 residents.
The most common type of fraud in Pennsylvania is credit card fraud, representing 37% of 13,725 complaints. Phone or utilities fraud was next with 21%; bank and employment or tax-related fraud each had 12%, loan or lease fraud 10% and government document or benefits fraud 5%.
Fraud prevention strategies include not divulging personal information; review bank and credit card statements for suspicious transactions; change passwords frequently and make them hard to detect; and investigate unexpected requests to transfer money to an unfamiliar account even if it seems to come from a trusted source. As backup, every business should have Crime insurance including computer fraud, funds transfer fraud and social media fraud.