Identity Theft Complaints Double in '02 "The number of identity theft complaints nearly doubled in 2002, continuing to make it the Federal Trade Commission's most widely reported consumer crime since the agency started issuing reports three years ago.
The F.T.C. said that in the last year it had received 162,000 reports of identity theft, compared with 86,000 a year ago. They make up 43 percent of complaints. Auction fraud, an almost nonexistent crime six years ago, ranked second with 13 percent of the total. Internet-related fraud, which includes auction fraud, generated slightly more than 100,000 complaints. The rise in identity theft complaints partly reflects greater consumer awareness about reporting and does not necessarily indicate an increase in the crime."