Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Treasury Department Says Identity Theft Up Dramatically

The number of suspicious activity reports that involve identity theft increased by 123% from 2004-2009, according to a report issued today by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

During the same period, there was an 89% increase in SAR filings. In 2004, there were 15,445 SARs with identity theft and there were 36,210 last year, according to the report. The report said the largest single kind of identity theft involved credit cards, which was cited in 45.5% of the filings sampled. Of those, 30% involved the takeover of an existing account and 17% involved setting up a new account.

In 31% of the filings, the abuse involved loan accounts, and among those 56.5% involved student loan fraud.

In 27.5% of the cases, the victim knew the person suspected of stealing their identity and 4% of the filings involved computer-assisted identity theft.

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