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Illinois reports of identity theft and data breaches rose in 2013

For Illinois residents, trying to keep control of credit card debt means keeping a vigilant watch on their credit card statements. Attorney Genera Lisa Madigan's office reported that the number of consumer complaints was down in 2013 from 2012.

Despite that decrease, the office received more complaints of data breaches and identity theft in 2013 than it did in 2012. Other categories, such as student loan debt, work-at-home-scams, and some other service-related categories also saw decreasing numbers.

In 2012, the office received 26,316 complaints in total. Of those 2,544 complaints were for identity theft and data breaches.

In 2013, the total number of complaints fell to 20,500. The number of identity theft and data breach complaints rose to 3,009 in 2013.

The Attorney General says that the rise in identity theft and data breach complaints can be partially attributed to the Target data breach and Advocate Health Care data breach. Some of the other complaints included instances of bank fraud, thieves opening new utility accounts or credit card accounts in the victim's name, and fraudulent charges being made on existing accounts.

For people who are already struggling to make minimum monthly credit card payments and pay other bills on time, finding out that there has been fraudulent activity in their name can often mean disaster. If you need help to get your credit card debt or other debt under control, you might have legal options. Seeking the advice of an experienced Illinois bankruptcy attorney might help you to learn your options so you can make an informed decision about your financial future.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Madigan: Consumer complaints down, but ID theft worries rise" Becky Yerak, Feb. 11, 2014

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