5 Topics to Know About Identity Theft Statistics: Understanding the Risks and Impact
Identity theft has become an increasingly prevalent problem in recent years. It involves stealing a person’s personal information to commit fraud or other illegal activities. It can damage a person’s financial stability, credit score, and reputation. Here are five topics to know about identity theft statistics, including the risks, impact, and frequency of incidents.
1. The Frequency of Identity Theft
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were over 1,300 data breaches in 2020 that exposed 307 million records. Tens of millions of Americans each year find out that they have been subjected to identity theft. In the age of digital platforms, the risk of identity theft is at an all-time high, and its frequency continues to increase.
2. The Economic Impact of Identity Theft
The impact of identity theft can be significant for individuals and the economy. In 2019, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the total cost of identity theft was over $1.9 billion. The impact includes lost wages, legal fees, and other associated costs. Additionally, multiple hours of work are lost when trying to rectify the situation, sometimes taking over 200 hours to recover from the theft adequately.
3. Types of Identity Theft
Identity theft can take many forms. It includes credit card fraud, tax identity theft, medical identity theft, and social security fraud, as well as account takeover. Account takeover is when a criminal accesses an existing account of a person to make transactions or fraudulent purchases without the victim’s knowledge.
4. The Demographics of Identity Theft Victims
Identity theft can happen to anyone, but certain demographics are more vulnerable than others. According to a 2020 study by Javelin Strategy and Research, seniors were most likely to be targeted by identity thieves. Additionally, households making over $75,000 per year are 28% more likely to experience identity theft than those with lower incomes.
5. Preventive Measures and Solutions
There are several preventive measures individuals can take to protect themselves from identity theft. One of the best ways is to regularly monitor banking statements and credit reports. It is also important to be cautious with any suspicious emails or texts that ask for personal information. Another solution is to sign up for identity theft protection services that can monitor for fraud and alert users of potential issues.
Identity theft is a growing concern in today’s digital world, and understanding its risks, impact, and frequency is crucial. Being cautious with personal information and signing up for identity theft protection solutions can help prevent or mitigate the damages of identity theft. Studies have shown seniors and higher-income households to be more vulnerable to identity theft, and prevention measures are necessary to ensure their safety. As cybercriminals come up with creative tactics for stealing identity, it’s crucial to monitor one’s personal information consistently to identify and address any breaches on time.
What should I Know about Identity Theft?
o Identity theft is a form of cheating or fraud of another person’s identity where someone pretends to be someone else by usurping that person’s identity. When someone else’s form of identity is stolen, the fraudulent party then assumes access to the victim’s resources, benefits, and financial information. As a result, the victim of identity theft will suffer adverse consequences as they are responsible for holding accountability of the perpetrator’s actions.
When you realize your identity has been stolen contact an identity theft lawyer to acquire legal advice and assistance.
o There are numerous forms of identity theft, but in all cases, the victimized party is exposed to the actions of the aggressor’s illegal obtainment of the individual’s financial and personal information.
Identity Theft Statistics
o In the United States, as many as 12 million Americans are victims of identity theft per year.
o 40-50% of identity theft victims are made aware of identity theft within 3 months of the illegal action. 10-20% of the victims; however, take 4 years or longer to discover the illegal infiltration of their personal and financial information.
o Victims of identity theft spend from 3 to 5,840 hours repairing damages realized through identity theft. This wide range is due to the varying levels of severity present in the crime—a lost credit card, for example, will require less time repairing than a compromised social security number. The total average of time spent repairing the damages realized through identity theft is approximately 330 hours.
o 26-32% of victims will spend a period of 4 to 6 months dealing with their particular case, while 11-23% of victims will take over 7 months to repair and resolve the consequences of their particular case.
o Nearly $250 billion a year is lost by businesses who are victims of identity theft. On average, a victim of identity theft will lose between $2,000 and $14,000; victims will subsequently spend an average of $851 to $1,400 in expenses related to their case.
Aftereffects of Identity Theft
o 50% of identity theft victims experience trouble getting loans or credit cards as a result of identity theft.
o 20% of victims will experience higher credit card rates, while 16% of identity theft victims have higher insurances rates because of the theft.
o 72% of identity theft victims will have trouble resolving or terminating the negative information left on their credit reports or other information left on their personal records.
What Information is used by the Fraudulent Party?
o Nearly one third of identity theft cases revolve around checking account fraud.
o 2/3 of victim’s personal information is used to open new checking or credit accounts.
o 30% of victim’s personal information is used to purchase a cell phone service.
o 12% of identity theft victims end up having warrants issued in their name for financial crimes committed by the identity thief.
Steps taken to Prevent Identity Theft
As technology continues to improve, numerous companies (such as LifeLock) continue to develop cutting-edge techniques and programs to offer identity protection means to the average consumer or business. Various security requirements, encryptions and anti-piracy software produced by such companies as LifeLock are used to secure personal and banking information and impede identity thieves from conducting fraudulent activity.