The number of identity theft reports in California decreased last year, but each victim lost significantly more money in comparison to 2010. According to KXTV-TV in Sacramento, a recently released report by the California Public Interest Research Group found that identity theft costs an average of $786 per person in 2011, which is sharp increase from the 2010 average of $82 per person. The significant rise in financial loss may be a result of more reports of new account fraud, where criminals steal personal information and use strong consumer credit
scores in order to create new accounts in the victim's name. Most consumers are unaware for months that their identity has been stolen as the thieves use different mailing addresses for bills, the report says. Approximately 1,000 identity theft cases in 2011 were investigated, a decrease from 2010. Only 229 cases that were investigated led to convictions that year, states the news source. Since identity theft can harm both consumers and businesses, there are several programs being offered that can reduce the risk. Microbilt has identity and applicant verification products and services that aid organizations in decreasing fraud, which results in saving money and valuable information.