The information about prevalence of identity theft is based on what statistical information is held and supplemented by certain other sources of information, it becomes clear that identity theft is on the rise. This other information includes less obvious, equally important, sources such as consumer reporting agencies.
These consumer reporting agencies provide fraud alerts on consumer credit files. These fraud alerts act as one of many possible identity theft solutions, in that they inform stores about to grant a customer credit to further verify the identity of the customer, before granting that credit. These alerts can be set up by consumers themselves who may have reason to fear that they have been victims of identity theft. The increasing prevalence of such fraud alerts would seem to imply a similar increase in identity theft itself, though this is not based on identity theft facts.
There is other evidence that corroborates the seeming rise in prevalence of identity theft. Another one of the identity theft solutions available to victims is the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, established by the Federal Trade Commission in 1999 for the explicit purpose of obtaining and compiling information from any one who wants to either make a complaint or find out more information about identity theft.
Between 1999 and 2001, the average number of calls to the Clearinghouse had increased six fold, and since then it has likely grown even more. Consumers seeking identity theft facts would be likely to call the Clearinghouse for information.While some may have called simply out of preventive concern, it is also likely that many who called were seeking identity theft solutions to a problem which had already occurred; in other words, they were likely calling for more information because they had already become victims of identity theft.
One source of information that provides some identity theft facts that lend credence to the idea identity theft is becoming more frequent, is the increasing number of calls to fraud hotline run by the Social Security Agency and Office of the Inspector General. The hotline was specifically set up to take and record allegations of fraud.
It seems that identity theft facts lead to the conclusion that identity theft is increasing in prevalence, while identity theft solutions may not be similarly increasing to keep up.