Military

Active Military Members Hit Harder By Identity Theft Than Other Adults: Study

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Active military members are hit harder by identity theft and cyber breaches than other adults, according to a new report.

From 2015 to 2019, active duty service members were 76% more likely to report current identity theft on current accounts than other adults, the Military Times reported Wednesday, citing research by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network.

Problems filed with debt and credit collectors by active personnel are “more than twice the rate of other adults,” a May 21 FTC blog post stated, citing data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Almost 43% of “debt collection reports” resulted from identity theft and almost 43% of filed “credit bureau reports” claimed “the information belonged to someone else,” the FTC post noted, citing the CFPB data. (Related: James Mattis Denounces Trump’s ‘Path’-Former Defense Sec. ‘Angry And Appalled By Response’ To Protests)

“Many say they worry that these problems could put their security clearances and their military careers at risk,” the FTC post noted.

Twenty percent of active members who filed reports have dealt with two or more types of identity theft, according to the FTC.

Active service members are also 22% more likely than other adults to report that their stolen information was used to open “new accounts,” the FTC noted. Additionally, almost 14% of active members’ identities were stolen by a “family member or someone they know,” 2 times more than general adults, the research found.

“Our men and women in uniform take on unique hardships when they choose to serve. Identity theft shouldn’t be one of them,” stated the FTC.

The FTC’s number of “other adults” came from the United States Census Bureau 2018 American Community Survey and the “active duty service members” number came from the Defense Manpower Center December 2019.

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