200,000 Dutch victim of ID fraud

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Last year 200,000 Dutch fell victim to identity fraud through a debit machine or ATM or over the Internet. That is 1.5 percent of the Dutch population older than 15 years, according to figures from CBS (Centraal Bureau Statistiek) (Central Statistics agency).Higher educated deal with identity theft more often than less educated, partly because they make more purchases over the internet, according to the CBS.

identity theft
Don Hankins

Most of the fraud is done by the so-called skimming method: the copying of a bank card or credit card at a debit machine or ATM. A good 70 percent of the victims got scammed out of money that way.

The other 30 percent fell victim to the so-called phishing or pharming method, where payment information, sent over the internet is retrieved. This method tends to use emails.

Nine out of ten victims of skimming or phishing reports this, usually to their bank. Less than 20 percent filed a report with the police in 2012. In most cases the victim is reimbursed for the stolen money by their bank.

Eight out of ten times the fraud occurred in The Netherlands. One out of ten fraud cases occurred after the victim used a debit card or credit card, or the internet abroad.

Last June a spot-check, commissioned by Minister Plasterk, showed that more and more people fall victim to identity theft in general. The number of victims rose from about 75,000 in 2007 to 612,000 in 2012.