ID thieves more likely to be men, claims study

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Race and sex play a part in identity theft, reveals a study of the US Secret Service cases completed between 2000 and 2006..

Almost two-thirds of the 933 offenders committing identity theft were male, according to a study by the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection (CIMIP).

"In order to gain a greater understanding of the type of individual who is likely to commit identity theft, data collected on the offender included gender, race, age at the time the Secret Service case was opened and place of birth," the report said.

"The 517 cases reviewed included 933 offenders, 67.4 percent of whom were male."

As the gender of three of the offenders was not available, 303 of the offenders were female.

The report also found that the majority of the offenders were black, accounting for 53.8 percent of the 933 identity thieves.

White offenders were the next largest group, accounting for 38.3 percent, while 4.8 percent were Hispanic and 3.1 percent were Asian.

The high number of black offenders was partly down to their sex, as most females involved in identity theft were black.

"Most of the female offenders were black, 61.6 percent (172)," said the report.

"30.8 percent (86) were white."

However, the race for 65 of the offenders was not recorded.

Information on the offenders’ place of birth was available for 660 offenders and found that almost a quarter were born outside the United States.

"While a clear majority of these offenders was born in the United States, almost one quarter (24.1 percent, 159) were not," the research said.

"The top five countries represented were Mexico (21), Nigeria (20), the United Kingdom (12), Cuba (11), and Israel (7)."

The report from CIMIP looked at 734 cases with an identity theft component, which were opened and closed by the US Secret Service between 2000 and 2006.

Of those 734, data was collected on 517 cases, as the others fell outside the modern interpretation of identity theft.

The report marks the first time the US Secret Service has allowed its closed case files on identity theft and fraud to be reviewed.

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