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Stealing Your Good Name: A Survey of Washington State Residents 18+ on Identity Theft Incidence and Prevention

While 9 percent of Washington State residents age 18 and up have actually experienced identity theft, 75 percent are concerned about becoming victims of this new and rapidly growing crime. Additionally, the majority of those participating in this telephone survey of age 18+ residents feel that the state should strengthen penalties for ID theft.

The survey also found that:

  • Among those victimized by identity theft in the last five years who reported it, 45 percent say they turned to the police for help, 29 percent contacted their bank, and 19 percent turned to a credit card company while those who have not been victims say they would do the same in slightly different proportions (58 percent, 32 percent and 26 percent, respectively).

  • Although 72 percent agree that ordering a personal credit history report could help protect consumers from ID theft, 55 percent have not ordered one and 64 percent say they are not likely to do so in the near future.

  • If a personal credit history were free, 41 percent say they would order one in the next six months, compared to 33 percent who were likely to do so if they would have to pay for it.

Interviews for this random digit dial telephone survey of 800 age 18+ Washington residents took place between January 26 and January 31, 2005 with an average interview length of 10 minutes. The report was prepared by Jennifer H. Sauer of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted at 202-434-6207 for further information. (16 pages)

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