Millions of US households suffered identity theft in '04, says study

The US Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics said in a report that some 3.6 million US households, or about 3% of the total in the US, fell victim to identity theft during a six-month period in 2004.

An AFP report, quoting the study, said the result of the survey was based on interviews conducted from July through December 2004.

The study, according to AFP, said households headed by young people (18-24 years old), those in urban or suburban areas, and those with annual incomes of $75,000 or more were the most likely to experience identity theft.

The study further said that about a third of households that were identity theft victims discovered the loss by noticing missing money or unfamiliar charges on an account, and about a quarter were contacted by a credit bureau, it said.

The AFP report further said the estimated loss during the six-month period was about $3.2 billion or an average loss of $1,290, according to the study.