Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

The number of identity fraud victims in the U.S. climbed for the second consecutive year to more than 11 million adults, according to the latest report from Javelin Strategy & Research. The most common problem: a thief used their information to make a purchase in a store or online.

Most victims didn’t lose any money, thanks to zero-liability fraud protection offered by most banks and credit card companies. And victims in 2009 spent less time clearing up their problems than others in the past.

The report found that cons are becoming increasingly tech-savvy. Still, twice as many thefts were attributed to a lost or stolen wallet than to phishing scams, computer viruses or other online attacks.

The findings were based on a phone survey of 5,000 consumers in November, including 703 fraud victims.

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