Identity theft: fact and fiction

Thursday, 19 September 2002, 1:05 PM EST

Contrary to some views, identity theft is indeed about numbers and about money. A recent study by Meridian Research makes the projection that by 2006 the financial institution sector alone will lose $8 billion to identity theft. In addition, an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 people a year become victims of identity theft, and Federal Trade Commission data show that nearly 86,000 people filed identity theft complaints in 2001. Many of those people suffer significant financial loss. Furthermore, when terrorists exploit identity theft, the financial and human costs to society as a whole can be catastrophic.

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