INTERNET USE FUELS RISE IN IDENTITY THEFTS
Business Daily, 20 October 2000) - Copyright
Investor's Business Daily
The FTC warns that identity
theft is on the increase nationwide, affecting roughly
750,000 people every year. The Internet is largely
responsible for the increase, because it makes it
simpler for identity thieves to obtain information
about people and open bogus accounts, as more public
records move online, and personal data can also be
purchased from various Internet public-records firms.
The FTC, which is currently trying to find ways to
aid victims in clearing their name and credit more
quickly and simply, says the average identity theft
victim spends two years, $808, and 175 hours to restore
their good name and credit. Many insurers now cover
identity theft under their homeowners policies. Although
victims are not usually responsible for the bills
run up by thieves using their name, there are many
expenses due to lost wages, lawyers' fees, certified
mail costs, notarizing affidavits, and transcription
Leads List of U.S. Fraud Complaints
Monday January 29 11:28 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Identity theft led the list
of fraud complaints filed with the U.S. government
in 2000, a federal anti-fraud Web site reported on
Monday, to become the fastest-growing crime in the
Reports of stolen Social Security numbers or credit-card
accounts made up 23 percent of the 80,000 complaints
filed last year, figures on the Consumer Sentinel
Web site showed.
Other common complaints included problems with Internet
service accounts or computer purchases, sweepstakes
and lottery promotions, and Internet-based auctions.
Fraudulent investments were the most damaging financially,
costing U.S. consumers at least $38 million in 2000.
Business opportunities cost consumers another $34.5
are increasingly using the Social Security numbers
or credit-card accounts of others to make purchases
or set up new accounts, a practice known as identity
of credit cards accounted for 50 percent of all
identity theft complaints in 2000, the FTC said.
Criminals also used fake identities to set up false
phone or utility bills, banking accounts and loans,
and to create fake drivers' licenses, tax returns,
and Social Security account.