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Thursday, July 8, 2004

27.3 million Americans Victimized by ID Theft

Identity theft tops the list of common crimes reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the past three years. A 2003 survey indicated 27.3 million Americans have fallen victim to ID theft during the past five years, including 9.9 million people in the last year alone. Some more factoids about ID theft:

• ID theft translates into roughly $48 billion in losses to businesses and financial institutions and $5 billion in consumer expenses.

• The FTC found in a recent 12 month period that 3.23 million consumers discovered that new accounts had been opened, and other frauds such as renting an apartment or home, obtaining medical care or employment, had been committed in their name.

• In the cases above the loss to businesses and financial institutions was $10,200 per victim. Individual victims lost an average of $1,180.

• Where the thieves solely used a victim’s established accounts, the loss to businesses was $2,100 per victim. For all forms of identity theft, the loss to business was $4,800 and the loss to consumers was $500, on average.

• 52% of all ID theft victims, approximately 5 million people in the last year, discovered that they were victims of identity theft by monitoring their accounts. Another 26 percent - approximately 2.5 million people - reported that they were alerted to suspicious account activity by companies such as credit card issuers or banks. Eight percent reported that they first learned when they applied for credit and were turned down.

• Phoenix topped the list for identity theft among major metropolitan areas nationwide in 2003, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

• Nevada ranks second in the nation on a per capita basis for identity theft.

FTC ID Theft Statistics
FTC ID Theft Resource Center
ID Theft Resource Center: Non-Profit Organization
Identity theft can affect you [tec online]
Phoenix tops in ID theft [Arizona Republic]
Nevada second in the nation for identity theft [KRNV-Reno]

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