The Better Business Bureau recently released a report that indicates identity theft is more frequently committed offline than online. The report found that in spite of rising fears about identity theft and online fraud that old-fashioned physical loss or theft of wallet, checkbooks or credit cards accounts for nearly a third of all identity theft. Thefts stemming from online sources including computer spyware, online transactions, computer viruses & hackers, and phishing scams combined accounted for less than fifteen percent of all identity crimes.
Another important finding of the study is that people who use online methods to keep track of their accounts are likely to find out about identity crimes much sooner than those who rely on paper statements. The average loss for those monitoring online was $551 compared to $4,543 for those who rely on paper statements.