Thursday, December 19, 2013

Identity Theft in 2012

Seventeen million Americans aged 16 or older were victims of identity theft in 2012, but only 14 percent of victims experienced out-of-pocket losses of $1 or more. Most were able to resolve the problem in a day or less. Despite the relatively minor inconvenience identity theft poses to most of its victims, a substantial 36 percent of identity theft victims reported moderate to severe emotional distress because of the incident.

Victims of identity theft are more likely than nonvictims to take measures to reduce the future risk of theft. Here is the percentage of identity theft victims (and the percentage of nonvictims) who took selected actions in the past 12 months…

Checked bank or credit statements: 92% (74%)
Shredded/destroyed documents with personal information: 80% (67%)
Changed passwords on financial accounts: 56% (27%)
Checked credit report: 53% (37%)
Used identity theft security program on computer: 25% (16%)
Purchased identity theft insurance/credit monitoring service: 12% (5%)

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Victims of Identity Theft, 2012

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