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Category: Consumer education and empowerment

Servicemember reports about identity theft are increasing

Identity theft can quickly reverse a good credit report, filling it with unknown, maxed-out credit card accounts or collections accounts for mystery debts. It can spell trouble for anyone, but for servicemembers, identity theft resulting in negative information on a credit report can lead to the loss of a security clearance or even discharge.

In 2021, military consumers—who include active duty servicemembers, veterans, and military family members—reported nearly 50,000 cases of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Between 2014 and 2022, military consumer complaints to the CFPB about debts they said resulted from identity theft increased nearly fivefold, from just over 200 annually in 2014, to more than 1,000 in 2022.

Nationwide consumer reporting companies (NCRCs) must be responsive to the identity theft and credit concerns of servicemembers, veterans, and military families. We also encourage financial institutions to consider how they can strengthen their protections against identity theft. The CFPB will continue to use its available tools to ensure that NCRCs and financial institutions take appropriate action when servicemembers report identity theft.

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