Credit Card Fraud: Most Common Form of ID Theft

Dennis Faas's picture

According to a new study from the Identity Theft Resource Center, the most common use of identity theft involves opening a new credit account in the victim's name. This type of fraud affects almost two-thirds of identity theft victims.

39 per cent of the 2008 victims faced fraudulent charges, up more than twice the 15 per cent of those victimized in 2007. According to the 2009 Breach List report (PDF) from the Identity Theft Resource Center, as of 5/26/09, 230 breaches exposing 11,615,507 records had been reported.  (Source:

Reversing ID Theft Requires Time and Money

It can take a lot of time and money to repair your identity if you become a victim. Costs for things like police reports, photocopying, travel, etc. range from an average of $739 for dealing with damage done to an existing account to $951 to fix the aftermath of a fraudulently opened new account. (source:

Timewise, it took an average of 58 hours to deal with identity theft involving existing accounts and an average of 165 hours to deal with new fraudulently opened accounts.

Awareness of ID Theft on the Increase

On the positive side, more people are paying attention to charges on their bills and statements and only about a third of the identity theft victims found out about their identity being stolen through calls from a collection agency or a denial of credit -- long after the damage had already been done.

That's much better than the 82 per cent of victims in 2007 who found out their identity had been stolen after dealing with adverse situations, which suggests that today more people and more businesses are keeping an eye on preventing identity theft.

Tips on protecting your identity can be found from PC World and The Identity Theft Resource Center.

Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!

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