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Identity Theft: Costs More, Tech Less

Identity theft may be far more costly to victims than previously believed.

A study released Monday by Utica College's Center for Identify Management and Information Protection (CIMIP) found that the median actual dollar loss for identity theft victims was $31,356.

This figure is based on 470 cases out of 517 where loss data was available to Utica College researchers.

The CIMIP study is significant because it's the first time the U.S. Secret Service has allowed researchers to review its closed case files on identity theft and fraud. It is intended to provide empirical evidence that law enforcement agencies can use to combat identity theft.

A 2007 study by the Javelin Strategy and Research cited an average (not median) fraud amount of $5,720 per victim that year. A 2003 Privacy & American Business survey put the average cost per victim at $740.

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