More Identity Theft Offline Than Online-Study

Yahoo! News – More Identity Theft Offline Than Online-Study

Federal regulators warn that the Internet is the thriving frontier for identity theft, but 72 percent of the thefts of personal information for scams last year was done offline, a new report says.

Identity theft — the practice of stealing someone’s personal information and running up bills in their name — cost Americans $52.6 billion last year, the report says.

Thieves got their victims’ bank or credit information online in just 12 percent of the cases.

Identity thieves aren’t making a killing electronically — they’re picking through trash and thumbing through lost or stolen wallets,…

Yeah, it bugs me those numbers as a percentage don’t get to 100, but I can live with it.

I have family members (hi, mom!) who cannot believe how much of my life goes online, including my buying and bill-paying. Some is discomfort with the truly new (so, I push this button and all my money vanishes to where?) to fear of the Dread Internet Pirate.

DIPs exist, but are less common than the old fashioned theives. Just thought you should know.


  1. I would suggest the missing percentages are actually instances of family memebers stealing other family members information, and as such are generally not considered a criminal act.

    For instance, if your child takes your credit card and forges your signature and runs up a bill, neither the credit card company nor the cops feel that’s a crime.

    You still have to re-pay the CC company and the cops won’t prosecute.

    And, yes little ID theft goes on on the internet, most of it comes from your trash.

    The solution? a nice home shredder. Run all your old bills through it and anything that has your name and any type of account number on it.

    There are some inexpensive and very effective shredders available.

    I would recommend any shredder that has a cross cut capability over ribbon shredders, but that’s probably a predjudice of 28 years of handling classified info. Ribbon shredders are PROBABLY okay.

  2. shredder bob says:

    It may be mainly offline for the moment – but you can bet the figure for online theft is going to rise dramatically over the next two years.