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 â€œreflects only the experiences of confirmed identity theft victims who worked with the ITRC, and is not a census or general population-based study,â€ 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 victimâ€™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 victimsâ€™ inability to clear their records. Other prominent responses include Social Security Number tied to another personâ€™s file (22%) and victimsâ€™ fraud alerts ignored (19%).
Read the full study here (pdf).