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ID thieves more likely to use dumpster, phone.

The recent ChoicePoint data breach affected thousands, but a recent study reveals that consumers are more likely to become identity theft victims via two of the most old-fashioned methods--Dumpster diving and phone fraud.

A Better Business Bureau telephone survey of 4,000 consumers found that only 11 percent of known identity-theft cases occurred online, with Dumpster diving and phone flaud accounting for more thefts, according to a study from online business research firm eMarketer.

According to Federal Trade Commission estimates, 3.2 million citizens have their identities stolen each year, and every 10 seconds another American is victimized, the study said. These statistics have led privacy-rights advocates to issue dire warnings about the growth of massive consumer databases, despite the fact that Internet hacking accounts for a small percentage of all thefts.

The eMarketer study said online financial transactions can help reduce identity theft.

"Although the Internet is responsible for its share of identity theft, studies have shown that use of the web and other electronic means such as ATMs can actually help consumers remain vigilant against theft because they can monitor their accounts multiple times over the course of a month," Noah Elkin, an eMarketer analyst, wrote in the report.

"A BBB/Javelin study found that identity theft victims who discovered the crime through electronic means averaged a smaller monetary loss than those who found the theft on their paper statements. By contrast, consumers who rely on paper statements might have to wait days or even weeks, depending on the statement cycle, before learning that a theft had occurred, increasing the chance that larger sums could be stolen," Elkin added.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
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Title Annotation:UP FRONT: News, Trends, & Analysis
Publication:Information Management Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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