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If you have a growing concern about identity fraud and theft, you're not alone. These crimes top the list in a 2006 Harris Interactive survey commissioned by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC).
In a survey of 813 adult Americans, identity theft outranked concerns over crimes like burglary and robbery. Additional identity theft data from the survey shows that:
- Fourteen percent of respondents, representing more than 40 million adult Americans, reported having been victims of identity theft, and 24 percent knew someone who had been a past victim.
- Thirty-one percent of respondents who know identity theft victims view the crime as a primary concern versus 24 percent of those who do not know a victim.
- Sixty-six percent of female respondents view identity theft as a major issue, compared to 47 percent of male respondents.
- Despite high levels of concern from respondents, their knowledge about prevention was no greater than those who are less concerned (57 percent versus 56 percent).
The identity theft research conducted by the NCPC also identified the following preventive measures respondents use to guard against identity theft:
- Destroy documents containing personal information and account numbers,
- Safeguard passwords for accounts and computer access,
- Refuse to give out personal information online or over the phone,
- Protect your Social Security number