Identity thieves are young and tend to work on their own - report

A study of US Secret Service cases has concluded that identity thieves tend to be young and work on their own, as well as relying on t'Internet for only around 20 per cent of their crimes.

The report, compiled by the Centre for Identity Management and Information Protection (CIMIP) also found that insider employees were the offenders in just one-third of the cases.

On top of this, researchers also found that employees who stole identity information frequently worked in the retail industry.

"There are some common perceptions we have that identity theft involves a person sitting at a computer hacking into corporate or individual computers," said Gary Gordon, the head of the centre told reporters.

The US Department of Justice-funded study, which was released earlier this week in Washington, focused on identity thieves and methodologies, rather than the victims, which is usually the case.

Researchers reviewed more than 500 cases closed by the US Secret Service between 2000 and 2006.

The study found that 42.5 per cent of offenders were between the ages of 25 and 34. Another 18 per cent were between the ages of 18 and 24. Two-thirds of the identity thieves were male.

For more on the report, click here...