Identity Theft Is Mostly Between Friends
Home Tell a Friend! Contact ICFE Link Exchange Search ICFE Subscribe ICFE About the ICFE
ICFE News Releases ICFE in the News Children and Money Financial Education Personal Financial Counseling with Paul S. Richard, RFC Credit Card Tips Credit File Correction Mending Spending Links and Resources Order Options

Identity Theft Is Mostly Between Friends - Study Says

San Diego, CA - Most identity theft occurs off line and is conducted by friends, relatives and others who the victim knows, contrary to many reports that the crime is committed anonymously through computers, according to the 2005 Identity Fraud Survey Report.
Identity theft cost $52.6 billion last year, up from $51.4 billion in 2003, according to the survey by Javelin Strategy & Research and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The survey also found that the number of new identity theft victims fell 8% from 10.1 million in 2003 to 9.3 million last year. Victims made up 4.25% of U.S. adults, with 2.38% facing fraud on existing credit card accounts; 1.15% on existing non-credit card accounts and 0.83% on new accounts and other frauds.

Fraud, however, on existing credit card accounts is the least costly form of ID theft, with a mean fraud loss of $5,803 per victim. New accounts fraud generated a mean loss of $12,646 per victim, and existing non-card accounts fraud caused $9,912 in losses per victim.
Hispanics and African Americans are twice as likely as Asians or Whites to experience new account fraud, while higher income households are more likely to fall victim to existing credit card accounts fraud. The average out of pocket cost-per-victim was $650.
Phishing, the much-publicized online fraud committed by crooks posing as a legitimate business, caused a loss of $2,320 per victim. In contrast, the mean loss for ID theft committed by a friend, relative or neighbor was $15,607, the report found. Theft of paper mail generated a mean loss of $9,243.  Pleasanton, CA-based Javelin conducted the study last fall, polling 4,000 adults and interviewing 507 fraud victims, giving the study a 95% confidence level. 

Someone has been (ph)fishing for your identity - did you bite?
Phishing? Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam to deceive consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive personal information.
Below is a typical phishing email aimed at Cox Communications Internet customers.

"It has just come to our attention that a new fraudulent e-mail is being directed to e-mail addresses attempting to collect customer financial information. This e-mail did not originate from Cox Communications and customers should not follow instructions in that e-mail. The Network Security team has acted quickly, and the impacted site is no longer reachable from the Cox network."
Sample Phishing E-mail:
Subject: ATTENTION: COX account reactivation Dear COX member,
Here at Cox we have seen numerous fraud attempts to our system. We are updating our billing information records to help cut down the number of attempts that occur. It is very important to update your billing information as soon as possible. In a result of you not updating your account information we will have to place a hold on your account in suspection of fraud if one occurs to your account.
Please do not worry. Our card processing system will check your billing information and confirm your membership.
Click here to update your records.
Please fill the forms correctly, because of any mistake in information may place account on hold for more comfirmation of information.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely yours,
xxx xxxxxxxx
COX Information Security Department
More Information:
Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG):

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the ( web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: and  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

Home ] ICFE News Releases ] ICFE in the News ] Children and Money ] Financial Education ] Resource Center ] Credit Card Tips ][ Credit File Correction ] Mending Spending ] Links and Resources ]  [ Online Store ]


Copyright ©  1997 - by Paul S. Richard
and the Institute of Consumer Financial Education, All Rights Reserved.
View our
Privacy Policy Our Terms and Conditions

Institute of Consumer Financial Education
PO Box 34070
San Diego, Ca 92163
Paul S. Richard, Executive Director
Phone 619-239-1401

FAX 619-923-3284

Questions for Click to go to Website Contact Us or 
Website Design Donated by Desgn School Programs