Victims May Never Resolve ID Theft

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Victims of identity theft spend an average of 81 hours trying to resolve their cases, while many victims have been unable to restore their legal identities, even after a year of trying, according to a new survey released by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

"The survey shows that recovering from identity theft can be difficult, costly and stressful, but what is most alarming is that despite the time, money and personal duress victims go through, resolution is not always achieved," said Kirk Herath, associate general counsel for Nationwide.

The survey of 1,097 identity theft victims found the average amount of charges using their name was $3,968. While most victims were not held responsible for the fraudulent charges, 16% of victims said they had to pay for some or all of the thieves' purchases.

More than half of all victims discovered the identity theft themselves, while only 17% were notified by a creditor or financial institution of suspicious activity on their account. It took those surveyed an average of five-and-a-half months after the crime occurred to realize they were a victim.

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