The fastest-growing crime


Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the USA, according to the National Crime Prevention Council.

About 7 million people had their identities stolen in the year ended July 2003, according to two studies done by Gartner Research and Harris Interactive. Each will spend an average of $1,495 and 600 hours getting his or her finances straightened out, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. And that’s not counting lawyers’ fees.

Overall, the market for shredders, including big commercial machines that handle tons of paper at a time, is about $350 million a year. Revenue has been growing in the low double digits every year, he says. The main fuel now is the home and consumer market. Revenue for personal shredders has grown 20% to 25% over the past three years. In fact, shredders are the fastest-growing segment of the total office products market.

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