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Study: 45 million people in the U.S. engage in ID manipulation

Jul 06, 2011 Brian Bradley

Approximately 45 million United States citizens have deliberately manipulated their identities in applications for credit, cell phone service, auto loans and other credit transactions, according to a recently released survey by consumer risk management company ID Analytics. The study found that metro areas in Michigan and Texas housed the highest number of offenders, as well as border and coastal towns in Texas. The city with the worst rate of identity manipulation was Houston. "There is extensive research on the crime of identity fraud and its victims (but) far less on the actual perpetrators," said Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer for ID Analytics. "(Now) there is a comprehensive view of who identity manipulators are, where they are living and specifically how they are manipulating their personal information." A total of 8 million people were found to be using two or more Social Security numbers to verify identity, while 16 million used multiple dates of birth. Despite this, a Javelin Research survey found that identity fraud incidents decreased by 28 percent in the U.S. between 2009 to 2010.