More than 8 million American adults were victims of identity theft in 2005, the Federal Trade Commission said Nov. 27.
Of the victims, 3.2 million experienced unauthorized use of their existing credit card accounts, according to an FTC survey. Another 3.3 million reported misuse of non-credit card accounts and 1.8 million victims said that new accounts were opened or other frauds were committed using their personally identifying information.
The cost of being an ID theft victim varies widely, according to the survey. The FTC examined the value of the goods or services stolen, and in at least half of the cases, ID thieves stole $500 or less in goods and services. However, in 10 percent of the incidents, thieves made away with at least $6,000.