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    ID Theft Resource Center Releases Fifth Annual Study on Identity Theft

    The Identity Theft Resource Center has released its fifth annual aftermath study (pdf): An Analysis of Identity Theft Through the Victim’s Eyes (2007). The study “reflects only the experiences of confirmed identity theft victims who worked with the ITRC, and is not a census or general population-based study,” the Center said. Highlights from the report:

    — In 2007, 62% of respondents reported thieves had committed financial crimes that resulted in warrants being issued in the victim’s name, more than 2 1/2 times higher than in 2006.

    — In 2007, 82% of victims found out about the identity theft through an adverse action compared to 76% in 2006. Only 10% of respondents found out about the crime due to proactive measures taken by businesses and 8% saw something unusual on their credit report.

    — Respondents in 2007 spent an average of $550.39 in out-of-pocket expenses for damage done to an existing account.

    — In 2007, 70% of victims indicated that it took up to 12 months to clear issues of all misinformation, compared to 50% in 2006.

    — Credit agencies, either by putting negative information back in records (31%) or not removing it in the first place (32%), topped the list of reasons for victims’ inability to clear their records. Other prominent responses include Social Security Number tied to another person’s file (22%) and victims’ fraud alerts ignored (19%).

    Read the full study here (pdf).

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