FAQ: ID Theft

I shred my bills, keep my anti-virus software up to date, and am generally paranoid about protecting my identity. So, of course, someone got my credit card number and tried to go on a shopping binge. How does it happen? How many people get hit? How do you protect yourself? Elinor Mills has a great Q&A on "Demystifying ID Fraud" at cnet.com today:

The latest Consumer Reports survey found that over the past two years 1 out of 13 Americans provided personal data to phishers, 1 in 12 had serious problems with spyware, 1 in 7 lost money to online fraud or had computer virus problems, and about 1.7 million were victims of identity fraud, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday.

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