Consumer Payment Card News

ID Thieves

About 3.2 million Americans experienced misuse of their existing credit card accounts in 2005. About 1.8 million victims found that new accounts were opened or other frauds were committed using their personal identifying information. The data come from a new Federal Trade Commission survey that found that overall, 8.3 million American adults, or 3.7% of all American adults, were victims of identity theft in 2005. The FTC also found that 10% of victims spent at least 55 hours resolving ID theft issues, and half of those spent at least 130 hours. Approximately 10% of all victims reported out-of-pocket expenses of $1,200 or more to resolve the problem. Where the theft was limited to the misuse of existing accounts, the median value of goods and services obtained by the thieves was less than $500. Where the thieves opened new accounts or committed other frauds, the median value of goods and services they obtained was $1,350. Eighty-five percent of all ID theft victims reported that one or more of their existing accounts had been misused, including credit card, checking, or savings accounts; telephone service accounts; Internet payment accounts; e-mail and other Internet accounts; and medical insurance accounts. Monitor your credit report periodically check for activity that you didn’t authorize. For more information visit: “http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft”:http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft

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