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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

September 23, 2003

Study shows high cost of identity theft

Identity theft continues to dramatically increase, both in the number of individuals afflicted and the monetary values of their losses, according to a report issued nationally today co-authored by Dale Pletcher, a finance professor at California State University, Sacramento and Linda Foley of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego.

Professor Pletcher will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. today for media interviews and inquiries at (916) 278-6849, or by email at

“Identity theft is a huge economic problem and growing rapidly,” he said. While the Federal Trade Commission pegs the losses to business at $48 billion for 2002, Pletcher said, “Based on our findings, those losses are likely in excess of $279 billion.”

Pletcher said an extensive survey of victims reveals long-lasting economic ramifications of identity theft. “We should all worry about the financial implications of identity theft. According to our findings, the average loss per victim from fraudulent charges has grown from $18,000 in 2000 to more than $92,000 now.

“If you are the victim of identity theft, you better be prepared to spend time solving the problem. The average time spent per victim has grown from 175 hours per year in 2000 to more than 600 hours today. That’s an increase of over 300 percent. Also, if you are the victim, expect to dig into your pocket to try to resolve the problem. The average out-of pocket expenditures per victim equal nearly $1,500.”

Pletcher, who has been on the faculty since 1975, lent his expertise in the research model and analysis of the data. He was assisted by CSUS graduate student Debra Miranda.

The Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego can be reached by calling 858-693-7935 or


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •