Ditch the Pitch
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) Identity Theft Unit (“the Unit”/ “IDTU”) is celebrating their fifth anniversary and releasing its five-year report, highlighting the program’s successes as well as data collected from 2013 to 2018.
In the past five years, SCDCA’s IDTU has fielded over 13 thousand calls, given 176 presentations across the state to more than five thousand consumers and resolved 406 consumer complaints, recovering $280,639 to consumers through credits, refunds and adjustments.
Between October 2013 and August 2018, the Unit has received 1,556 consumer identity theft reports. Financial (57%), tax-related (27%) and benefits (5%) were the most common forms of reported identity theft. Greenville County residents (189) filed the most identity theft reports in the five-year period, followed by Richland (151) and Charleston (144) County residents, respectively.
When it comes to money reported stolen by scammers since 2013, a total of $5,192,964 was stolen from consumers in South Carolina, with the potential loss of $3,250,063 by those who did not fall victim to the scams they reported. Imposter scams were by far the largest type of scam reported overall since 2013, accounting for 43 percent of scams reported. Phishing scams came in second with 14 percent of reports and lottery/sweepstakes scams followed with six percent.
“In this day and age of cybercriminals and relentless scammers attempting to separate consumers from their money or personal information, the Unit is an asset to the on-going work of consumer protection in South Carolina,” said SCDCA Administrator Carri Grube Lybarker.
View the full IDTU five-year report.
Consumers are encouraged to contact the Unit for more information on defending against, and reporting, identity theft and scams. Call 844-TELL DCA (835-5322) or visit www.consumer.sc.gov and click the Identity Theft Unit tab.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. File a Complaint or call toll-free, 1-800-922-1594, to get information on consumer issues.