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What is family friendly fraud?

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Identity theft is on the rise but some startling new numbers came out about who is involved in stealing your identity – family members or friends.

It's called family friendly fraud. It means your family or a friend is racking up fraudulent charges onto your credit card or taking over an account.

According to Javelin Research, in the last three years it's up 47 percent. Family friendly fraud impacts everyone, especially those 18 to 24 years old.

They are targeted more than any other group. The non-profit credit counseling and education group called CredAbility recalled their most outlandish case.

"In a short period of time someone had charged two $25,000 BMWs, purchased a house and gone on a spending spree, all in a matter of a few days," said John McCosh of CredAbility.

How can you protect yourself? Keep your personal identification number private. Shred important documents, and freeze your credit report so that no one can get into it without your approval.

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