Identity Theft Still Mostly An Offline Scam

from the phishing-just-a-drop-in-the-bucket dept

A year ago we noted that, despite plenty of hype about online fraud and identity theft, it was a very small part of the problem. An updated version of the study notes that, not only are online scams a small part of overall identity theft, they may be decreasing. However, the study does claim that the average loss to online identity theft has gone up quite a bit in the last year. What’s not clear from the article, though, is how this study was conducted. One of the problems with measuring identity theft is that the victims sometimes don’t even realize what’s happened for a while — or how extensive the damage really is.

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Comments on “Identity Theft Still Mostly An Offline Scam”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

It is the TV and newspaper media that are focusing on online scams- to scare people away from using computers.

Every time you let a waiter and waitress take your card to a back room to process it, you are at risk!

Would you let a stranger use your computer after you logged into your online accounts?

And when is the last time the TV or newspaper press reported the real risks?

haggie (user link) says:

No Subject Given

From an FTC report:

Some 38 percent of identity theft victims said they hadn’t bothered to notify anyone — not the police, not their credit card company, not a credit bureau. Even when fraud losses purportedly exceeded $5,000, the kept-it-to-myself rate was 19 percent.

Perhaps some people decide that raising a stink over a wrongful charge isn’t worth the trouble. Even so, the finding made the overall validity of the data seem questionable to Fred Cate, an Indiana University law professor who specializes in privacy and security issues.

“That’s not identity theft,” he said. “I’m just confident if you saw a charge that wasn’t yours, you’d contact somebody.”

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