Where do identity thieves steal their data?

The Travelers Companies analyzed data on identity theft claims from 2008 and found that victims were more likely to have their wallets stolen than to have data stolen online. Here’s what the company found from the instances in which victims knew their identity had been stolen.

  • 78 percent were the result of burglary or theft of a wallet, a purse, personal papers or a PC.
  • 14 percent were the result of a data breach.
  • 5 percent came from change of address or other postal fraud.
  • 3 percent were because of a lost credit card or other miscellaneous causes.

How was that stolen personal information used? More than 75 percent of the time, criminals opened a new credit card account or made charges with cards on existing accounts. In 20 percent of the cases, money was drawn from bank or online accounts, and in 16 percent, utility accounts were opened in the victim’s name.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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