Type of Identity Theft - Identity Theft Statistics

Stealing your personal information is only the first step in the criminal process. After the information is gathered, the thief must then convert that information into a means by which he or she can profit. One popular method is to simply call a credit card issuer with whom you do business, posing as you. They change the billing address for the card and then begin to make a series of purchases. They may even request and receive a duplicate card if their "research" shows you rarely use your own. In many cases, enough time can pass before the victim realizes what has happened to make this strategy quite lucrative for a criminal.

Another strategy is to use your information to apply for additional lines of credit. Bills and documentation never end up making it to your address, so you may not know this is happening until it is too late. More than one victim has found that tens of thousands of dollars were ran up on credit cards in their names without even having the slightest idea the accounts existed at all.

This technique is not limited to credit card use. Some criminals have gone so far as to actually open bank accounts with the stolen information. Shortly thereafter, they acquire goods and services by writing a series of bad checks that come back to haunt the identity theft victim.

Identity thieves may establish utility or cellular phone service in your name. Some even acquire leases under a victim's identity. They receive car loans with false identities and use stolen personas to avoid paying taxes.

Imagine you are a horrible person with no sense of remorse. Now, imagine that you have been given an opportunity to access hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods, services and cash. What would you do? Don't be fooled, unless you did a great job of play acting, a real identity thief can think of even more ways to profit illegally.

Identity theft ruins lives. It creates a seemingly infinite number of short term problems and can then have massive impacts that can linger for decades. Even if the risk of identity theft is relatively slight, the impact of the crime is so incredibly severe that we must all take efforts to protect ourselves.

To make matter worse, offenses are growing rapidly and cut across all portions of our society.

Identity Theft Statistics

In the US, the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel collects information about consumer fraud and identity theft from the FTC and over 150 other organizations, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, fourteen Attorney Generals Offices, and various State and local law enforcement agencies.

According to the FTC report, National and State Trends in Fraud & Identity Theft, January to December 2004 (2005), the Consumer Sentinel received over 635,000 consumer fraud and identity theft complaints between January and December 2004.

Findings from an analysis of those complaints include:

  • Of the more than 635,000 complaints received during calendar year 2004, 61% represented fraud and 39% were identity theft complaints.
  • "Credit card fraud (28%) was the most common form of reported identity theft followed by phone or utilities fraud (19%), bank fraud (18%), and employment fraud (13%). Other significant categories of identity theft reported by victims were government documents/benefits fraud and loan fraud."
  • "The percentage of complaints about "Electronic Fund Transfer" related identity theft more than doubled between 2002 and 2004."

Do not assume that identity theft will not happen to you.

 Information Security and ID Theft
 What Identity Theft is About
 How Identity Theft Works
 Signs of Identity Theft
 Identity Theft Credit Repair
 Identity Theft in the UK
 Type of Identity Theft
 Why People Commit ID Theft
 Criminal Identity Theft
 Information About Identity
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Credit Card ID Theft
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ID Theft In Business
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Identity Theft On The Internet
 Identity Theft Phishing
 Online Identity Theft
Protecting Against ID Theft
 Learn Identity Theft Protection
 Guard Against Identity Theft
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Identity Theft Reporting
 Identity Theft Reporting
 How to Report Identity Theft
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