An estimated 8.6 million households had at least one person age 12 or older who experienced identity theft victimization in 2010, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. This was an increase from the 6.4 million households victimized in 2005.
Identity theft is the unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing credit card or another type of existing account, the unauthorized use of personal information to open a new account or for another fraudulent purpose, or a combination of these.
The unauthorized use of an existing credit card accounted for much of the increase in household identity theft from 2005 to 2010. The number of households experiencing the misuse of an existing credit card rose from about 3.6 million in 2005 to 5.5 million in 2010.
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