Identity theft is a substantial risk in today’s world. Millions of people are effected every year. These statistics and facts will help you understand how big a risk it is and where the threat is the greatest. Hopefully you will be able to avoid potential identity theft from happening to you.
- In the United States 4-5% of the population are victims each year.
- 16% of identity thieves are known personally by the victim. Friends, family, relatives, neighbors, make up 16% of all cases.
- 56% of victims have no idea how their ID was stolen
- Victims are rich and poor, old and young. No one is immune from identity theft.
- 37% of victims are credit card victims
- 39.5% of people are non-credit card account victims
- The remaining 23.5% of people have had new accounts or applications created using their information
- The opening of new accounts is the worst type of identity theft. Costing an average of $1,350.
- Opening of new accounts can take up to 6 months before anything is discovered. As compared with one week on existing accounts.
- Victims that had new accounts opened suffered additional problems beyond the cost of recovering their identity (see below).
- Existing accounts are not as bad as new account creation, with only $500 in stolen money on average.
- Victims of existing accounts noticed the problem within a week on average.
- Theives steal an average of $500, 50% time
- They can steal up to $6,000 ten percent of the time.
- Half of people involved had to spend nothing to fix the problem.
- Ten percent had to spend $1,200 or more to recover their losses and their identity
- The median time to fix the problem was 4 hours for most victims
- The most severe cases (only 5% of people) spend 130 hours to fix the identity theft problem.
Beyond fixing the immediate problem of having their identity stolen. 37% of all victims also encounter:
- Harassment from bill collectors
- Denial of new credit applications
- A lower credit score
- Existing credit cards being shut down or denied
- Inability to get new loans
- Having utilities shut off
- Being part of criminal investigations
- Being sued in civil suits
- Denied new banking accounts
- Insurance rates increase
Those victims that had new accounts created are 200% more likely to have these things happen to them. Those that had problems with existing accounts were half as likely to experience any of this.
Victims Per 100,000 Population
New York 85
New Mexico 82
56% Buy goods and services
8% open new phone account
7% open new credit card accounts
3% get medical supplies & treatments
1% rental applications
1% obtain government benefits
1% Apply for a new job
Having your identity stolen to open new accounts is by far the worst type of identity theft. Monitor your credit history closely and try to catch things before they get really bad. The worst way to find out you’ve had your identity stolen is when you apply for a new loan or job.