Identity theft was on the rise again in 2004. But the causes of ID theft will surprise most people.
A new study issued by the Better Business Bureau found that a minority of known ID theft occurred over the Internet. The study found that in 68.2% of ID theft cases in 2004 information was obtained offline. In addition, individuals who monitor their financial accounts online discovered ID theft faster and suffered losses of $551 compared to $4,543 in losses for the average offline ID theft loss.
The most likely source of ID theft was a lost or stolen wallet or checkbook. In cases in which the criminal was identified, half of the criminals were known to the victim.
The study found 9.3 million ID theft victims in 2004 compared with 10.1 million in 2003 FTC study.
Whether you conduct financial transactions online or offline, the steps for preventing ID theft are the same: