Some Surprising Findings About Identity Theft

Caroline Mayer (blog.washingtonpost.com) posted some surprising results of the recent survey by Better Business Bureau and Javelin Strategy and Research, regarding identity theft, conducted among 5000 Americans.

First off, according to the survey, “most of the compromised data is not taken through the Internet. In fact, the traditional offline channels, such as lost or stolen wallets, checkbooks or credit cards, continue to be the primary source of ID theft”.

“The average fraud amount per case is now $6,383, up from $5,249 two years ago. But the average out-of-pocket cost for consumer is down to $422, compared to $657 last year. That means businesses are bearing the bulk of the costs”.

The most susceptible targets of identity theft are 25 to 34 year olds, not seniors, “most likely because they conduct more transactions and are therefore at the greatest risk”. However, the 35-44 year olds have “the highest average fraud amount–$9,435″.

“As a percent of the U.S. adult population, the study shows the number of fraud victims has dropped from 4.7 percent to 4 percent between 2003 and 2006… As the survey noted, consumers detect almost half the fraud cases, with 11 percent of the victims caught by monitoring credit reports”.

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