Victims May Never Resolve IdentityTheft

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - (07/27/05) -- Victims of identity theft spend anaverage of 81 hours trying to resolve their case, while manyvictims have been unable to restore their legal identities, evenafter a year of trying, according to a new survey released byNationwide Mutual Insurance Co. "The survey shows that recoveringfrom identity theft can be difficult, costly and stressful, butwhat is most alarming is that despite the time, money and personalduress victims go through, resolution is not always achieved," saidKirk Herath, associate general counsel for Nationwide. The surveyof 1,097 identity theft victims found the average amount of chargesusing their name was $3,968. While most victims were not heldresponsible for the fraudulent charges, 16% of victims said theyhad to pay for some or all of the thieves' purchases. More thanhalf of all victims discovered the identity theft themselves, whileonly 17% were notified by a creditor or financial institution ofsuspicious activity on their account. It took those surveyed anaverage of five-and-a-half months after the crime occurred torealize they were a victim.

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