by Mike Masnick

Identity Theft Victims Don't Even Know They're Victims?

from the that-only-happens-to-others dept

The threat of identity theft online may be overblown, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be paying attention. However, a new study finds not only that many people figure they're safe "because that only happens to others," but nearly half of the victims didn't even realize they had money stolen. It would be nice if there were more details about this particular study, because it's not all that clear. Do they mean this ~50% had no idea ever? If so, how did the study figure out they had lost money? If it's that they didn't realize it for a certain period of time -- how long are they talking? It's not that surprising that identity theft might take a while to discover for many people. Lots of people don't check their accounts that often, and even those who do so regularly may go a month between statements when they don't check -- allowing a thief to have plenty of free time to steal away.

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  • identicon
    Brian, 9 Dec 2005 @ 6:51am


    So it's a safe assumption that one quarter of the country is blissfully watching NTSC on a $2500 flat panel while checking their BofA balances every 6 months.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ben, 9 Dec 2005 @ 7:39am

    It can take a long time

    My girlfriend is in the middle of clearing up having her identity stolen. She first learned of the theft two weeks ago by way of a collection letter for an account she did not have. As she started to dig, she learned her identity was first stolen in 1999. Yes, seven years. She has received mortgages, credit cards, and car loans in those seven years. All while having accounts in collection. In calling around, she has learned that 7 years is not uncommon. I am not sure of the economics of collection agencies, but there must be fairly decent returns on selling deliquent accounts to justify the extent of the problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Denis, 9 Dec 2005 @ 9:19am

      Re: It can take a long time

      I take it she didn't check her credit report in that time. I made it a habit to check my credit report at least once a year.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jerry Eller, 21 Dec 2005 @ 9:42pm

    Identity Theft Expert

    I am an expert in identity theft, negligence and privacy issues. Because nobody in my local and Federal government would help me I have written a book. My credit has been screwed up since 1997 and still continues to ruin my life. My book is available at and I am willing to appear as an expert at any trial, hearing or conference. I can be contacted through my website. Thank you, Jerry Eller

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jerry Eller, 13 Feb 2008 @ 4:51pm

    Identity Theft

    I posted that comment 3 years ago, since then I have been continually harrassed by collectors, denied credit and now have had my VA Disability payments garnished without a hearing, investigation, trial, judgment, lien and otherwise.

    I write this in hopes that it be the first note ever written on the Internet, encapsulated into a bottle and tossed into the middle of the cyber world ocean of information.

    My hope is that you open this bottle, read my book and tell every person, media outlet, politician and US Voter about my story! Jerry Eller of Jerry Eller dot com. PLS FWD

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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