Identity theft is a serious concern for individuals not only in the US but globally. Identity theft issues have been a common concern for several years. However, its frequency has sky-rocketed in the past few years.
We aren’t finished with the year 2022, but the statistics for identity theft are already quite alarming. Let us take a quick look at some facts as to why identity theft is a growing problem in the United States.
Identity Theft Statistics: Fast Facts
- Losses from identity theft cost Americans $5.8 billion in 2021
- The FTC received 5.7 million total fraud and identity theft reports in 2021, 1.4 million of those were consumer identity theft cases
- In 2021, $2.8 billion of losses were from imposter scams and $392 million were from consumer online shopping
- Fraud cases are up 70% from 2020
Identity Theft: Why is it a Problem?
People worried about getting mugged while on the street a few years back. However, this process has become common among people since the digitalization of monetary transactions, and beneficial services.
Identity theft has now become nearly an unstoppable issue with various kinds of identity theft that can harm the owner’s reputation and finances. Various cases fall under the umbrella of identity theft, but the following are the most common ones.
- Account takeover (ATO, or misusing a user’s account information for personal gains.
- Starting a new financial account with the victim’s information to achieve monetary gains.
- Information theft such as Social Security identity theft for financial gains.
Alarming Statistics, Data, and Facts for Identity Theft
Identity theft scenarios are increasing drastically in 2022. Take a look at the development of these identity theft cases in the past few years to get a clearer idea of the current situation.
Identity Theft and Fraud Costs Totaled $5.8 billion
Nearly half of all U.S. citizens became a victim of some form of identity theft in 2020. In 2021, there were 5.7 million reports of identity theft and fraud, up from 4.7 million in 2020. With a $500 median loss, the cost to victims is growing as we become more digitally dependent.
1.4 Million Cases of Identity Theft Were Filed with the FTC
The average money lost in identity theft has nearly doubled since back in 2019. The main reason is imposter scams and thefts. These were the most common issue that people faced in the past three years at least. It means losing or compromising your data could land you in serious financial trouble before you realize it.
It is why the anti-identity theft organizations and law enforcement agencies in the US government try their best to educate individuals against such scenarios.
There is an Identity Theft Case Every 22 Seconds
Identity theft cases are at an all-time high, because of a wider range of identity theft methods. Simple methods such as traditional identity theft, to more complicated ones like synthetic identity theft, are all increasing.
Experts believe that these cases occur so often that there is a new victim every 22 seconds. Most studies indicate that this ratio will increase in 2022, making it a bigger issue for Americans.
33% of Americans Faced Some Form of Identity Theft at Some Point in Their Lives
The number of identity theft scenarios in the U.S. is nearly 3 times higher than in other countries. Reports indicate that nearly 33% of Americans have faced some kind of identity theft attempt in their lives. Experts indicate that this number could increase significantly this year.
Fraud is the Most Common Form of Identity Theft
FTC claims that credit card fraud is the most commonly attempted identity theft among users with 2.8 million reports in 2021. Identity thieves access a registered credit card of a victim or manipulate people into sending them money. In other cases, they may sign up for a new credit card using someone else’s information.
Social Media Users are Getting their Information Stolen Often
People who like posting things online frequently are usually at a higher risk of identity theft. This is because social media posts often reveal sensitive information unconsciously. Identity thieves can use this information for illegal activities and make fake financial transactions under the victim’s name.
For instance, posting a photo in front of your home address, a credit card lying around in social media photos, and several other sources can aid an identity thief’s attempt.
Identity theft is a growing problem in the U.S. for the past few years. It is difficult for victims to deal with these issues because theft methods are becoming more sophisticated with time. Citizens must safeguard their personal information if they want to avoid identity theft scenarios in 2022.
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