New News from the Identity Theft Battlegrounds

Are We Finally Winning the War on Identity Theft?

This Tuesday the FTC issued a report saying that the rate of identity theft has dropped. However, instead of jumping for joy (as one might expect) there are many who are crying foul. Why isn't this news being accepted as the good news it is? Here's some insight into the newly-released identity theft statistics.

What Exactly Does the Survey Say?

According to the FTC's latest report, the number of Americans affected by identity theft had decreased from 10 million in 2003 to 8.3 million in 2005. Of the 8.3 million affected, 3.2 million had their existing credit cards misused, 1.8 million had new accounts opened in their names and 3.3 million had their non-credit card accounts abused.

That's still a heck of a lot of identity theft victims... Why are the skeptics saying the numbers just don't add up?

You Can't Please All of the People all of the Time

Some analysts say that the numbers are way off, insisting that identity theft has increased and has not decreased like the FTC report indicates. In fact, some analysts are citing numbers has high as 15 million, which would mean a 50 percent increase in identity theft and that the FTC was off by 6 million victims.

Who's Right and Who's Wrong?

All reports and studies have a margin of error. The FTC will stick to their numbers, the skeptics will stick to theirs.

The bottom line is this -- even if the FTC report is right and the numbers have gone down, 8.3 million is still way too many victims out there. And this is only counting adults, not children. If you add the number of children who have been affected by identity theft, the numbers go up.

Think of it this way... Even if identity theft is decreasing, the current numbers tell a tale of a serious problem. If you work in an office with 100 people, 3 or 4 of you will become a victim of identity theft if the FTC's numbers are right.

Don't let reports of decreasing crimes lure you into a false sense of security. Identity theft is still a problem and one thing almost everyone agrees on is that we're pretty much on our own when it comes to fighting it.

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