ID Theft Remains No. 1 Consumer Complaint

ID Theft Remains No. 1 Consumer Complaint
Consumers filed more than 255,000 identity theft reports to the Federal Trade Commission in 2005, accounting for more than a third of all complaints.

According to the FTC's most recent report, Internet-related complaints accounted for 46% of all fraud complaints in 2005. The most common form of ID theft was credit-card fraud, followed by telephone or utility fraud, bank fraud, and employment fraud.

Washington, D.C., had the highest per-capita fraud rate, followed by Tampa, Fla., and Seattle.

According to another study, for the year, Americans lost nearly $57 billion to ID theft. But you may be surprised to learn that online fraud was the culprit in only 10% of the cases.

That study — from the Better Business Bureau and Javelin Strategy & Research — showed that ID theft cost U.S. consumers 4% more in 2005 than the $54.4 billion it cost in 2004. The average fraud rose to $6,383 from $5,885.

Nevertheless, the number of adult Americans who learned that criminals had stolen personal data and used it to commit fraud fell to 8.9 million, or 4%, from 9.3 million in 2004.

Results from the phone survey of 5,000 consumers, including more than 500 ID theft victims, show that while identity theft remains a big problem, consumers are growing less gullible and more vigilant. Indeed, the survey found that victims have a better than one-in-three chance to track down their perpetrators.

The study found that Internet fraud accounts for 9% of ID theft cases. 30% of victims lost data because their wallets, checkbooks, or credit cards were lost or stolen.

© National Security Institute, Inc. – Content excerpted from NSI’s SECURITYsense—a monthly information security awareness service for educating your end users. This copyrighted article is the property of the National Security Institute and may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without license agreement. For more information on the SECURITYsense program and to view FREE samples, visit http://nsi.org/SECURITYsense2.html.





Around the Network