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Jul 2, 2007

ID theft study in Chicago

A study on nearly 29,000 identity theft reports filed with the Chicago Police Department from 2000 to 2006 revealed (among other things) that:
- Women, African-Americans and adults between the ages of 20 – 44 have an increased risk of ID theft.
- Most victims only discovered the fact after being notified by credit card companies. Less than 10% discovered the theft on a credit report. Almost 20% first learned of the theft when they were served with legal process or received a collection notice.
- Where the cause/source of the ID theft was known, the victim’s identity was stolen by a friend, relative or person otherwise known to the victim in 60% of cases, through burglary or robbery (~17%) and stolen mail (less than 5%).
- Despite ID theft’s reputation as a “high tech” crime, in less than 5% of the cases was a computer or the Internet involved.
- Where the ID theft victim knew the perpetrator, they were most often a member of the victim’s family (33% of cases) or a boyfriend/girlfriend (~13%).
- Credit card fraud was the most common crime (over 25% of cases), acquisition of mobile phones or services the next most common.