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News

Crime source anonymity revealed in e-crime survey

Identity Theft Assistance Centre : 27 March, 2009  (Technical Article)
The Identity Theft Assistance Center has shown that nearly three quarters of ID theft crime victims don't know the source of the crime
A survey of more than 1500 identity theft victims shows that approximately three out of four, or 72%, do not know the source of the crime, according to ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center.

"Many of the people we help are frustrated because they don't know how their information fell into the wrong hands," said ITAC President Anne Wallace. "Your best bet is to treat your personal information as you do your personal safety - like buckling your seat belt. Keep data in your home and workplace in a secure location, keep your anti-virus software, browser and operating system updated, and monitor your accounts online for unusual activity."

"We may see these anonymous sources grow since criminals use stolen consumer data as currency and are becoming more targeted and organized," said Michael Stanfield, chairman and CEO of Intersections Inc., a leading global provider of consumer and corporate identity Risk Management services. "Technology allows criminals to act anonymously to steal information off your computer with key logging programs, or to create new identities using bits of information from public records."

Twenty-eight percent of the 1530 victims helped by ITAC said they knew the source of the crime. Most cases (26.5%) stem from friends, relatives and in-home employees who have access to personal information, followed by computer-related identity crime (21.6%). Lost/stolen wallet, checkbook or credit card accounts for 15.1%, followed by stolen and fraudulent use of the mail (11.6%) and corrupt businesses or employees (11.6%). Breaches of consumer data accounted for 4.7% of the cases.

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