WASHINGTON -- Identity theft occurs through a variety of channels, high tech and low.
The Identity Theft Assistance Center, a nonprofit assistance service sponsored by The Financial Services Roundtable and BITS, says its survey of 275 users of its free service from one month showed that 160 didn't know how their information had been compromised.
Of the 115 who did, 26 involved friends, relatives or in-home employees, while 25 involved computer hacking, viruses or phishing and 24 involved the mail, according to ITAC (www.identitytheftassistance.org).
The rest were the results of lost or stolen wallets, checkbooks or credit cards (15 cases), corrupt business or employee (12), data breaches (8), house burglary (4) and a case involving instant credit.
ITAC member companies and organizations refer victims to ITAC for help identifying other affected accounts and restoring their financial identity.