Feeds

America's 8m victims of identity theft

And that's only in 2005

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

About 8.3 million American adults, or 3.7 per cent of the population, were victims of identity theft in 2005, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

About 3.3 million adults, representing 1.5 per cent, experienced misuse of non-credit card accounts, slightly edging out the hijacking of credit cards, which was suffered by about 3.2 million Americans, or 1.4 per cent of the population. Some 1.8 million victims, or slightly less than 1 per cent, found that new accounts were opened or other frauds were committed using their personally identifying information.

An FTC report (PDF here) tracks identity theft rates for 2005, the last year for which data is available. A separate FTC study that measured ID theft in 2003 reported significantly higher figures, but statisticians attributed the difference to changes in methodology rather than a fall in ID theft.

The costs associated with identity theft varied widely. About 10 per cent of people in the most recent survey said thieves got at least $6,000 worth of goods or services. More than half of victims said perpetrators got $500 or less. Some 10 percent of victims reported out-of-pocket expenses of $1,200 or more while more than half said they had no costs at all.

The median amount of time spent straightening out problems created by the theft was about four hours, though 10 per cent spent at least 55 hours. Thirty-seven per cent of victims experienced problems beyond out-of-pocket expenses and time spent resolving the mess. Problems included being hassled by debt collectors, the inability to get loans, having utilities shut off, being subject to criminal investigations or civil suits, being arrested and having troubled getting getting or accessing bank accounts.

Most victims - 56 per cent - were unable to provide any information about how their personal information was stolen. About 16 per cent of all victims said the fraud was committed by someone they knew personally, 8 per cent cited friends, neighbors or in-home employees and 2 per cent a someone they worked with. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.