New Study on Identity Theft

According to an April 2 report by the US Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, 3 percent of all households in the US became the victim of at least one type of identity theft during a six-month period in 2004. The estimated loss during this period was about $3.2 billion.

About one-third of households that were identity theft victims discovered the loss by noticing missing money or unfamiliar charges on an account, and about one-quarter were contacted by a credit bureau.

Approximately one-quarter of all victimized households said the misuse had not stopped. The misuse was more likely to have stopped for households experiencing credit card theft (78 percent) than those experiencing theft of other existing accounts (65 percent) or the misuse of personal information (54 percent). Loss of personal information was the cause of trouble for 15 percent of the surveyed households.

About one in five households spent at least one month resolving their problems, while one-third said the problems were resolved in one day.

According to Jim Kouri’s post at Postchronicle.com.

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