The growing problem of identity theft

Friday, 5 December 2003, 10:57 AM EST

According to the 2003 Computer Crime Survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute in conjunction with the FBI, nearly 13 per cent of respondents were the victim of identity theft in the past year in the US, writes Fran Howarth OF Bloor Research. In total, losses from identity theft in the US in the past year are estimated to have amounted to around $50 billion.

Identity theft is the appropriation of an individual's personal information - including such identifiers as social security numbers, driving license numbers, financial cards and account information. This information can be used to fraudulently obtain such things as loans, credit, employment, healthcare services, rentals and mortgages.

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