Saturday, September 27, 2008

Identity Fraud, Part 1: A $45 Billion Snowball

A CRM Buyer article by Mike Pearson, via E-Commerce Times, reports that:

Imagine getting a US$45 billion bill without knowing exactly how you ended up with such a big tab.

That's exactly the situation facing Americans struck by identity fraud.

In 2007, the misuse of lost and stolen identity information cost $45 billion, an average of $5,574 per incident, according to Javelin Strategy's 2008 Identity Fraud Survey Report.

There's reason for both consumers and companies to be concerned.

Consumers bore only an average of $691 of that cost, and more than half paid nothing, said Mary Monahan, the Javelin Strategy analyst who wrote the report. However, unlike burglary or robbery, it's not clear to most people how their identities are stolen -- and some don't even know the crime took place.

"Unfortunately, victims rarely know who it is or how it is that their identity is compromised," said Jay Foley, executive director of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

More here.


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