The government says the number of identity theft complaints involving tax and wage fraud is soaring even as law enforcement tries to crack down.
Federal Trade Commission officials tell The Associated Press that 24 percent of the nearly 279,000 identity theft complaints it received last year came from people concerned their Social Security numbers had been stolen and used to fraudulently file for tax refunds or apply for jobs.
The agency says that's 8 percent more than the year before.
David Torok of the commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection says the trend has continued into 2012. The number of complaints filed with the FTC on any issue has risen from 35,000 a week to 50,000. He says most of the additional complaints are for tax and wage identity theft.