ID theft


An unwelcome side effect of living in a high-tech cyber world, ID theft is one of the few crimes that's on the rise these days.

Some stats - mostly from the Federal Trade Commission - on how bad (or not bad) ID theft has gotten.


Although ID theft means different things to different people (and different statisticians), the FTC (pdf) breaks ID theft into three categories:

  • "New Accounts and Other Frauds' ID Theft": Basically, using someone else's ID to open a credit card, take out a loan, get medical care, rent apartment or commit a crime.

  • "Misuse of Personal Accounts": your identity is safe, but your cash is gone - including from credit card and bank accounts.

Number of cases a year

In 2003, according to the FTC, 10 million Americans (4.6% of adults) experienced some kind of identity theft, including:

Posted In

crime & justice overview


Once the bane of US cities, crime today barely figures on the radar screen of American worries (on the site, not one poll on national priorities even mentions crime). But although forgotten, crime is not gone. Here we give a statistical snapshot of crime and the government's role in fighting it.

Crime rates

Rate of violent crimes and property crimes - since '73

source: DOJ and DOJ (Note: The FBI's Uniform Crime Report
shows similar trends, but its numbers slightly different. In particular, the FBI numbers show an increase in violent crime in 2005 and 2006.)