Knowledge really is power
Knowing identity theft facts is critical. Identity thieves are less likely to prey on a well-informed population. So the more you learn about identity theft facts, the less vulnerable you are. Become familiar with identity theft facts and you’ll quickly see identity theft for the serious problem that it is.
Important identity theft facts
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America.
The number of identity theft incidents has reached 9.9 million a year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Every minute about 19 people fall victim to identity theft.
It takes the average victim an estimated $ 500 and 30 hours to resolve each identity theft crime.
Studies have shown that it’s becoming more common for the ones stealing your identity to be those closest to you. One study found 32% of identity theft victims discovered a family member or relative was responsible for stealing their identity. That same study found 18% were victimized by a friend, neighbor or in-home employee.
Most cases of identity theft can be resolved if they are caught early.
Financial institutions – like banks and creditors – usually only hold the victim responsible for the first $ 50 of fraudulent charges.
Only 28% of identity theft cases involve credit or financial fraud. Phone, utility, bank and employment fraud make up another 50% of cases.
You may have known some of these identity theft facts already. Others, you may not have known. But of all the identity theft facts there are, these two you should never forget: identity theft is preventable and identity theft is fixable.
These days, identity theft facts and figures are all over the news. It seems like more and more people are victims of ID theft each day. Some find their bank accounts drained. Some find their credit destroyed. Whatever the case, identity thieves universally leave chaos in their path.
With so many numbers flying around, you may be wondering what the real identity theft facts are.
Well, a lot depends on where you live. In fact, a 2009 study of this type of theft showed that the largest US number of reports occurred in Florida; Arizona and Texas were not far behind.
However, these specific identity theft facts don’t mean that you are safe, even if you live in other areas.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity related theft is a trend that for the most part is growing. In fact, 21% of the complaints they received in 2009 were about some sort of ID theft. Not all such theft is the same, though. In fact, you can be vulnerable in any number of ways.
For example, 2009 identity theft statistics indicated that bank fraud and loan fraud accounted for 14% of all identity related theft for that year. However, credit card fraud topped the charts at 17%.
So, that goes to show that you need to protect both your bank accounts and your credit card accounts.
Additional identity theft facts and figures for 2009 showed that utilities/phone fraud and employment fraud both had a major impact on the public.
Utilities and phone fraud was listed at 15%, while employment fraud was at 13%. So, it is also very important to be careful what you say on the telephone and how you handle your employment applications and records.
Another of the big identity theft facts to pay attention to is that 16% of the identity theft cases involved government document fraud, according to the 2009 statistics. So, you will want to make sure that you protect all of your government documents, including any military records.
It’s also important to protect any birth certificates, adoption papers or other identifying information from thieves.
Although all of these are important identity theft facts to know, they are really just the tip of the iceberg.
ID theft is real, and you should be constantly concerned about protecting you and your family from it. The easiest thing that you can do to protect your identity is to guard all of your personal information in the first place. In other words, use your common sense and be careful.
Always shred or burn any personal information that you do not need to keep. Don’t just toss it in the trash and think that this is something that will never happen to you. If you do need to keep it, secure it in a safe deposit box or other secure area.
Because given the identity theft facts laid out here, you can see that this is a crime that can happen to most anyone at any time.