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Identity Theft Rates Among Top Banks 85

Hugh Pickens writes "Consumers, regulators, and businesses lack objective tools to compare the incidence of identity theft across financial institutions and without such tools, consumers cannot 'vote with their feet' and choose safer institutions. Now a study by Chris Hoofnagle has analyzed 88,000 complaints submitted by victims to the FTC over a three month period in 2006 and found that Bank of America ranked highest of all firms in the study, with an average of 1,117 incidents over a three-month period. AT&T had 763 incidents, followed by Sprint Nextel, JP Morgan, Chase and its Chase and Bank One, and Capital One. When the estimated events are divided by the total deposits, the data show that HSBC, Washington Mutual, and Bank of America have the highest rates of identity theft. Hoofnagle said lending institutions should publicly report information about identity theft events such as the rate of identity theft; the form of identity theft attempted; whether it was a mortgage loan or credit card; and the amount of loss suffered as a result. would help consumers choose safer financial institutions. The full study(PDF) is available from the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology."

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