Byline: Tim Lemke, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
More than 27 million Americans have had some amount of personal information stolen from them in the past five years, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday, and nearly 10 million people have been victims of identity theft in the last year alone.
The FTC released the first large government-sponsored survey on identity theft and said the problem is far worse than officials had believed. Last year, the crime cost consumers more than $5 billion in expenses, while costing banks and other businesses $48 billion.
Victims of identity theft spent nearly 300 million hours total and an average of $500 each trying to resolve problems when personal information - such as credit-card or checking-account numbers - were …