It looks as if greater vigilance on the part of consumers and improvements in systems and practices by companies that manage personal information are paying off Ã¢â‚¬“ at least according to the 2008 Identity Fraud Survey Report from Javelin Strategy & Research. It confirms a decline in identity fraud in most parts of the U.S., with some 8.1 million U.S. adults falling victim to identity fraud in 2007, down from 8.4 million in 2006. The annual cost of identity fraud also dropped by nearly 12 percent to $45 billion in 2007, down from $51 billion in 2006.
Despite the declines, a troubling trend. For the third consecutive year, the cost per consumer (total out-of-pocket expense consumers incur when falling victim to ID fraud, not the costs borne by businesses) increased by 25 percent, averaging $691 in 2007, compared to $554 in 2006. The findings also confirm that low-tech traditional theft methods still pose the greatest risk, rather than online. Access via mail and telephone transactions rose from 3 percent of theft in 2006, to 40 percent in 2007. Oh, and in case you were wondering, California, Illinois, Idaho, West Virginia and Delaware are the five states whose residents are most at risk of identity fraud. Check out further I.I.I. info on identity theft.Ã‚