Online theft not the main cause of identity fraud

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For most of us, the terms identity theft or fraud bring to mind fraudulent Web sites that try to phish for our personal information or viruses that send our sensitive data to a criminal. Surprisingly, a new study by Travelers Insurance revealed that the information gathering that makes identity fraud possible most often takes place offline.

Identity fraud has been growing dramatically, by 22% each of the past two years. Based on the incidents reported to Travelers, the number one cause of identity fraud is old-fashioned burglary in which a wallet, purse, other personal identification, or computer are stolen. Theft of personal property was responsible for 78% of the cases of identity fraud with online issues or data breaches only accounting for 14%.