Less-Biased Source Contradicts Earlier Study On Identity Theft Drop

from the different-directions dept

Last week, a research firm released a study saying that identity theft was becoming less of a problem. We were skeptical of its claims because it was sponsored by a bank and a credit-card company, and that was followed by much of the study being debunked, because it ignored more complex types of identity fraud. Now, the Federal Trade Commission has released its own stats on identity theft, and they paint a different picture. While the number of identity theft complaints made to the FTC has plateaued, losses reported to it have more than doubled since 2004 -- contrasting the previous study's claim that losses had fallen. It should be pointed out that the FTC figures aren't comprehensive, either, since they only cover complaints made to the FTC, and it's likely that a small proportion of identity theft victims ever bother to make such a complaint. Still, with the regular occurrence of data leaks and these conflicting reports, it seems a little silly to blindly accept a study sponsored by parties with a vested interest and pooh-pooh the problem, instead of pushing for solutions to stop the problem and mitigate its impact.
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  • identicon
    rwillis, 8 Feb 2007 @ 9:28am

    More info

    Here's complimentary summary info on identity theft from the 2004 National Crime Victimization Survey: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/it04.pdf

    Thought it may be of interest.

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

  • identicon
    Rob Rubin, 8 Feb 2007 @ 10:05am

    Consumers want identity theft protection

    A read a study recently that claimed 45% of consumers are willing to switch banks for identity theft protection. Unfortunately, the same problem occurred with this study as the one you reference in your article: It was sponsored by an identity theft protection vendor (Unisys). I wrote about it in my blog if you're interested.

    The studies, while flawed, point to the fact that consumers are more aware of identity theft -- that's why many want these features AND why the crime rate has plateaued (or dropped).

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


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