CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. Identity Theft Has Major Proportions In The US

Identity Theft Has Major Proportions In The US

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

05 September 2003

According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more than 10% of US adults has been the victim of identity theft in the last 5 years, with crimes ranging from the simple theft of credit card details to the comprehensive removal of a person's complete identity. The FTC says that identity theft cost businesses and consumers US$50bn in 2002, when it received more than 160,000 complaints on the subject. However, says the FTC, growing skill on the part of banks and consumers in protecting themselves and fending off attempted theft means that the rate of increase in the crime is tailing off; and the amounts of money involved are tending to go down.

To defend themselves, a group of major consumer service companies including Visa, Microsoft and has formed a new Online Identity Theft Prevention Coalition, announced this week. "It's an issue that's clearly impacting consumer confidence in Internet purchasing and it's creating a problem for the companies themselves, who want to have happy, satisfied customers," said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).

ITAA is the secretariat of the new coalition, which will unite technology, financial and e-Commerce companies to share information about ID theft, educate consumers to combat online ID theft, work with government to cultivate an environment that protects consumers and businesses from online fraud, and help promote technology that would prevent online ID theft. Other founding members of the Coalition include Visa USA, RSA Security, Zone Labs, McAfee Security, TechNet, WholeSecurity, Business Software Alliance and Cyveillance.

The Coalition will lobby for greater resources to be devoted to law enforcement to combat electronic crime and stiffer penalties for identity thieves, and will try to organize the often confusing and disjointed information available to consumers who want to protect themselves from online fraud, Miller said.

"The lines between ID theft in the online and offline world are often blurred. Today's FTC report underscores the growing threats to consumers and businesses perpetrated by criminals, and ITAA will continue to work with the Commission to combat these threats," said Miller.

Congress is considering several bills this year that would strengthen criminal penalties for identity theft. One bill, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) sets prison terms for up to five years. The bill has passed the Senate and is under consideration in the House of Representatives. Last January the government introduced the federal Social Security Number Misuse Prevention Act to provide consumers with identity theft protection.

To see today's news, click here.


Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »

Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »