The Illinois Attorney General’s office says the number of identity theft complaints received by her office climbed 18 percent last year.
Lisa Madigan says her office received about 3,000 complaints in 2013, up from about 2,500 the year before.
They were part of more than 20,500 complaints submitted to the office last year.
A major increase in complaints came from reports of data breaches, which rose 1,600 percent to 576 from 33 the previous year.
Madigan attributes that increase in part to hackers who stole millions of consumers’ data from Target Corp. That prompted many consumers to find fraudulent charges on their bank accounts and credit cards.
In a statement, Madigan says identity theft is “perhaps the most damaging financial scam that affects people today.”