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Identity Theft is a Growing Problem for Americans With Nearly 5% of the Population Reportedly Affect

The U.S. Bureau of Justice recently released identity theft statistics from 2006-2008, and the results do not look good. Shockingly, five percent of the U.S. population reports being an identity theft victim. Experts predict the problem is only going to increase.

Of the 11.7 million American victims of identity theft, the most common form continues to be "dumpster diving," or the unlawful theft of bank account information. Fraudsters continue to rummage through trash, looking for bank statements, utility bills and credit card information. Law enforcement has suggested that consumers consider switching to "paperless" billing to help eradicate the problems associated with throwing important information in the trash.

Demographically, wealthier Americans tend to be victimized the most often. According to statistics, households earning greater than $75,000 are more likely to be successfully targeted than those in lower income brackets.

Identity theft over the two-year span has cost financial institutions nearly $17 billion. Fortunately, three-fourths of victims incurred nominal to no person liability, as many banks and credit card companies forked over the funds to recover for the loss. However, this has lead to possibly skewed statistics. Many victims have declined to report their losses to law enforcement because they did not end up losing money and were not sure that law enforcement could do anything about the problem. On the contrary, victims of identity theft should always report any incident promptly to law enforcement both to apprehend the crooks and avoid further victimization.

With so many technological advances every day, crooks are always going to be looking for new ways to attack the identity and financial security of their victims. It is vital to install anti-theft software to ensure your laptops or smartphones are easily recovered if stolen. Products like Snuko's anti-theft BlackBox software are the perfect solution to protecting identity. If consumers focus on protecting their information, it is likely the instances of identity theft will start to steadily decline over the next few years until the problem is eliminated completely.

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