Identity theft often traced to nondigital sources

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Although identity theft is frequently associated with mega-data breaches such as the Target breach in 2013, research from the Center for Identity at the University of Texas at Austin has found that old-fashioned “analog” theft is the major driver in identity-related crimes. The findings, in the 2017 Identity Theft Assessment and Prediction Report, found that approximately 50 percent of identity theft incidents analyzed between 2006 and 2016 resulted from criminals exploiting nondigital vulnerabilities, such as empty prescription drug bottles or sensitive paper documents. Vulnerabilities caused by human error often are used by identity theft fraudsters. The report also found that despite the attention high-profile nationwide data breaches receive, the majority of identity theft cases—99 percent—were confined to a local geographical area, smaller businesses or certain victim profiles. Additionally, the research found that “insider threat” played a role in 34 percent of cases, meaning employees of companies or family members of individuals had a role in one-third of identity theft cases analyzed. Source:

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