HOW WIDESPREAD IS IDENTITY THEFT – DELOITTE AND TOUCHE REVEALS 15,000,000 VICTIMS LAST YEAR.
KnightsBridge Castle participated in the California Governors Identity Theft Summit on April 11, 2007 and once again we had the opportunity to view a widely divergent set of statistics concerning the growth of Identity Theft crimes in the US.
In the last two years, federal agencies such as the FTC and commercial enterprises such as the credit card companies have painted a picture a crime in decline citing approximately 7 million incidents. Both the FTC and the credit card firms have been somewhat self congratulatory about the reports they have issued or sponsored indicating a decline in the crime. However this rosy picture was somewhat tarnished when leading a leading market research company, Gartner Research, contradicted these reports recently and indicated that in the same period identity theft crimes had grown by 50% and is now exceeded 10,000,000 incidents per year.
Rena Mears, Partner in the auditing firm of Deloitte & Touche was the keynote speaker at the Governors conference and in her remarks she indicated that Deloitte’s estimate of identity theft crimes for this period was in excess of 15,000,000 victims in 12 months. In addition she commented that the financial impact of identity theft crimes had doubled in the pas 12 months. In other words the amount of money stolen or defrauded had increased significantly. She also noted that victim recovery (the ability to recover the financial loss – but not the loss of time and effort) had dropped from 87% in 2005 to 61% in 2006.