Millions fall victim to identity theft

More than 27 million US residents have been victims of identity theft during the past five years, according to a survey the US Federal Trade Commission released this week, but the agency is unsure how many of those crimes happened through technological means. After conducting a phone survey, the FTC estimates that 9.9 million US residents have been victims of identify theft during the past year. The survey of more than 4,000 adults is the first comprehensive attempt by the US government to learn the number of victims. The FTC's numbers are higher than most previous estimates. A Gartner survey released in July found 7 million victims of identity theft in the previous year, while the FTC received about 380,000 complaints about identity theft in 2002. Last week, the Information Technology Association of America launched the Coalition on Online Identity Fraud to combat identity theft online.

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