Identity Theft Statistics - ID Theft, ID Theft Stats
Identity Theft Statistics
Last Updated: February 4, 2014
The Identity Fraud Report released by Javelin Strategy & Research on February 20, 2013, showed identity fraud incidents increased by more than one million victims since 2011. It is reported that in 2012, 12.6 million American were victims of identity theft. Below are more statistics for 2012, as documented by Javelin Strategy and Research, the Federal Trade Commission and the IRS.
Identity Theft Trends
Among U.S. residents, these are just some of the identity theft trends from 2011 to 2012:
- Identity theft victims rose from 11.6 million in 2011 to 12.6 million in 2012.
- Monetary losses from identity theft rose to $40 billion in 2012 from $35 billion in 2011.
- 42% of identity theft cases were discovered by consumers themselves.
- Out-of-pocket expense per identity theft victim was $631 in 2012.
- The FTC received 369,132 identity theft complaints in 2012, up from 279,226 in 2011.
- For the 12th year in a row, identity theft complaints represented the largest number of complaints received by the FTC.
Types of Identity Theft Reported to the FTC in 2012
|Credit Card Fraud||13.4% of the identity theft victims reported that a credit card was opened in their name or that unauthorized charges were placed on their existing credit card.|
|Unauthorized Phone or Utility Services||9.7% of victims reported that the identity thief had established a new telephone, cellular, or other utility service in their name or accessed their existing account.|
|Bank Fraud||6.4% of identity theft victims reported that a new bank account had been opened in their name, fraudulent checks had been written, or unauthorized withdrawals had been made from their account.|
|Employment Related Fraud||5.4% of identity theft victims reported misuse of the victims' personal information to gain employment.|
|Government Documents or Benefits||46.4% reported that the identity thief had obtained or forged a government document such as a driver's license, filed a fraudulent document such as a tax return, or obtained government benefits in their name.|
|Fraudulent Loans||2.4% reported that the identity thief had obtained a loan (personal, business, auto, real estate, etc.) in their name.|
|Other Identity Theft||18.5% of other types of identity theft reported included using a victims personal information to obtain medical services, evade legal sanctions and criminal records, obtain tax refunds, open or access Internet accounts, declare bankruptcy, lease residences, and purchase or trade in securities and investments. 23% of the total reported cases fell into these categories.|
Identity Theft Complaints by Victims' Age for 2012
|19 and Under:||6%|
|20 to 29:||21%|
|30 to 39:||19%|
|40 to 49:||18%|
|50 to 59:||17%|
Top Ten States for Identity Theft Complaints per 100,000 Population in 2012
Identity Theft FAQ's
What were the most common types of identity theft for 2012?
Government documents/benefits fraud (46%) was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by credit card fraud (13%), phone or utilities fraud (10%), and bank fraud (6%). Other significant categories of identity theft reported by victims were employment-related fraud (5%) and loan fraud (2%).
What is the best protection against identity theft?
- Shred sensitive documents that display personal information, such as pay stubs, bank statements, credit card statements and pre-approved credit card offers.
- When making online purchases, only share your credit card information on secure websites that display the yellow padlock icon in the bottom margin of your browser (below the web page area).
- Create strong online passwords - ideally at least 8 characters long with one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number and one non-alphanumeric character - and change them often.
- Check your credit card and bank statements for unauthorized transactions.
- Check your credit report regularly so you can quickly catch and resolve any unauthorized accounts or activity.
The dramatic decrease in overall identity theft last year is encouraging, but should not overshadow the 8.1 million incidents that did occur. Let's hope the president of Javelin Strategy and Research is correct - that we have banks' precautionary measures to thank for the decline. But keep in mind that nearly half of last year's identity victims discovered the theft themselves. We are our own best defense, before and after the fact. Protect your personal information and keep close watch on your financial statements and credit reports.