Washington, DC - Active duty servicemembers are 76 percent more likely than other adults to report that an identity thief misused existing accounts, such as a bank account or credit card, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s latest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight.
The data, which is based on complaints submitted by consumers to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, also shows that active duty servicemembers are nearly three times as likely to report that someone used a debit card or some other electronic means to take money directly from their bank account without their permission. They also are 22 percent more likely to report that their stolen information was misused to open a new account, especially new credit card accounts, according to the data.
Reports indicate that securing personal information may present special challenges for active duty troops. According to the Spotlight, nearly 14 percent of active duty servicemembers who reported identity theft said that a family member or someone they know misused their identity, compared to just 7 percent of other adults. Reports suggest that this often happens when people have access to important documents or financial records left behind during military assignments.
MilitaryConsumer.gov is a resource for servicemembers, veterans, and their families to avoid scams and manage money.