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Identity for Sale? Protecting Consumers from Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime that has become more common in recent years as we have delved further into the “information age.” According to the Federal Trade commission (FTC), 27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the past five years, costing businesses and financial institutions $48 billion and consumers $5 billion. Victims pay an average of about $1,400 (not including attorney fees) and spend an average of 600 hours to clear their credit reports. The personal costs can also be devastating; identity theft can create unimaginable family stress when victims are turned down for mortgages, student loans, and even jobs.