Online Identity Theft


According to a Federal Trade Commission Report, "Internet-related complaints accounted for 46 percent of all fraud complaints."

In contrast, a study by Javelin Strategy and Research indicated that 9% of identity theft comes from malware and hacking. The Javelin study suggests that most identity theft happens offline, but that online identity theft can be more severe and harder to figure out:

"...per-incident losses for online fraud have increased from an average of $2,897 in 2004 to an average $6,432 in 2005 (an increase of 122 percent)...

Phishing scams also seem to take longer for victims to figure out: the average length of misuse of personal information resulting from a phishing scam was found to be 173 days. Personal information stolen by friends, family, or employees was misused for an average of 134 days, while lot or stolen credit cards were misused for an average of 75 days."

For more information on identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission's identity theft web site.