The more information you have about identity theft, the easier it is going to be for you to protect yourself from becoming a victim. That is why identity theft stats are so important. Despite all of the hype about certain types of crimes or victims, you need to know your real chances of becoming a victim.
Some Surprising Facts
According to the FTC, approximately 50% of identity theft victims knew the person responsible for the theft. In some cases, these are family members or friends with whom we do not maintain strong enough barriers. Think about how often you have given a friend your ATM pin number to withdraw money for you or loaned a friend a credit card for an urgent need or even left your wallet/purse somewhere easily accessible without even giving it a second thought. The identity theft stats clearly illustrate we need to be more careful, especially around those who are closest to us.
Common Uses of Identities
Do you know what a thief is most likely to do if he or she does steal your identity? According to the identity theft stats obtained from the FTC identity theft site, the most likely crime will be credit card fraud. That means your existing credit accounts will be used or new ones under your name will be opened. Credit card fraud accounted for nearly 30% of all the identity theft crimes. Another one-fifth involved utilities fraud. With this type of fraud, your identity is used to pay for water, electric, cable, or other utilities for someone else. Guess who gets left with the bill?
Sadly, most victims report spending over 30 hours, on average, getting their lives back in order. Filing police reports, getting fraud alerts placed on credit reports, and contacting creditors takes a lot of time and effort. Plus, victims live in perpetual fear of more fraud and must worry about being rejected for credit when they need it. In fact, according to identity theft stats from Spam Laws, just under half of identity theft victims have a difficult time getting loans or credit cards as a result of the theft. Some victims even say the negative impact on their credit has made it difficult to get a job as potential companies ran background checks and found poor credit ratings.