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Last year remembered for many things: Identity theft one of them

Among Illinois readers, there are likely those who enjoy reading about various types of records being set. Whether athletic feats or business accomplishments, it's interesting and fun to read about major achievements. Some records, however, are a little less positive. For instance, one report lists 2016 as being the year when identity theft ranked at an all time high in Illinois and across the nation.

More than 15 million consumers reported some type of identity fraud last year. That happens to be at least two million more than the previous year. In fact, economic losses based on fraud totaled more than $16 billion.

In recent years, credit card cloning was a major issue where stolen identities were concerned. That trend appears to have shifted to online shopping where an actual physical credit card is not needed. Brick-and-mortar stores reportedly began using more machines that process credit cards with security chips. This supposedly lowered fraud numbers at retail stores as much as 52 percent.

Just because identity theft is at an all time high doesn't mean every person accused of such crimes in Illinois will be convicted. Authorities often make mistakes by filing charges against the wrong person or violating a person's rights during a search and seizure or arrest process. The best thing a person charged with a white collar crime can do is build as strong a defense as possible in the hope of obtaining a positive outcome in court. This is most easily accomplished by allowing an experienced criminal defense attorney to act on one's behalf.

Source: USA Today, "Identity theft hit an all-time high in 2016", Bob Sullivan, Feb. 6, 2017

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