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Identity Theft Statistics You Should Be Aware Of

May 1, 2008
Knowing that identity theft is a fast-growing crime is one thing. It is also helpful to know how identity can be stolen and how to protect against it. However, it is also a good idea to keep as up to date as possible with the statistics of identity theft, to know what is most likely to be a target.

2006 Statistics of Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission compiles a list of vital statistics of identity theft every year. It can be long-winded and tedious to read long reports at times, so a breakdown of the most important statistics to know follows.

In 2006, there were at least 246,000 cases of identity theft reported. Credit card fraud was reported as the most frequent type of theft, with 25% of all reported cases. Evenly distributed at about 16% were phone and utilities fraud, employment fraud and other such categories.

According to the statistics, electronic transfer is still the easiest way to target someone for identity theft, even though it is fairly secure. Napa, California and Madera, California were the highest ranked cities for the number of cases of identity theft.

Bank account transactions, credit cards and wire transfers are the most frequently abused methods of fund transfer; the identity theft statistics indicate them at 20%, 30% and 23% respectively. Cash advances and money orders are the least used methods of transaction, and therefore the least vulnerable.

Identity theft has a different threat online. Identity thieves will set up fake webpages, disguising them as a legitimate company's webpage. They will use it to gather email addresses of victims. This "phishing" (as it is known) is a fast spreading problem in Internet security. Most bank sites are using what is known as a Sitekey. A Sitekey is a special personalized image that appears for an accountholder who has signed up for online banking. It confirms that the browser is displaying the actual correct website- not a fake one.

The most targeted demographic is consumers between the ages of 40 to 49. According to the Federal Trade Commission's collection of statistics, almost a quarter of all cases fall within this demographic.

Be sure to keep these statistics in mind- if you are in the middle-aged demographic and use the Internet for online banking regularly- you should be cautious because this group has been shown to be the most targeted victims of identity theft.
About the Author
Is your internet security really doing its job? Don't just blindly count on some software package to protect you. Find out what you really need to know to keep yourself safe online at the Security Manor website. Visit http://www.securitymanor.com for more helpful tips & advice.
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