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32 Identity Theft Statistics Employers Should Know

Since the rise of the internet, scam artists have used technology to steal personal information of people around the world. Preventative measures are constantly getting more sophisticated, but so too are the scams.

Nearly everyone in the U.S. has a smartphone, shops online, and logs into their bank from the internet. This alone creates a breeding ground for new scams. Add onto that constantly arising scams from people looking to take advantage of COVID-19, protests, and the fundraising surrounding both, and you have a world where identity theft is as serious of a threat as ever.

Below we’ve sourced top studies and data around identity theft to help companies and employers alike better understand the risks.

Table of Contents

 

Magnitude and Extent of Identity Theft

  • 19% of U.S. residents experience at least one incident of identity fraud in their lifetimes (Center for Victim Research, 2019) 
  • The number of records exposed due to data breaches is more than 1.6 billion (ID Theft Center, 2020) 
  • Fraud rates have fallen 15%, but the number of victims remains high with 16.9 million in 2019 alone (Javelin Strategy, 2020) 
  • Even though the number of victims is down, more victims are personally paying out of pocket for fraud (Javelin Strategy, 2019) 
  • Children identity theft resulted in total losses of $2.6 billion and over $540 million in out-of-pocket costs to families (Javelin Strategy, 2018)

Identity Theft Demographics

  • More women (13.5 million) are victims of identity theft than men (12.5 million) (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2019) 
  • Children are becoming more frequent targets of frauds: More than one million were victims of identity fraud in 2017 (Javelin Strategy, 2018) 
  • High-income individuals are more likely to become victims of identity fraud, especially concerning the use of existing accounts (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010) 
  • Seniors are targeted most often over the telephone and through internet phishing scams (Federal Trade Commission, 2019) 
  • Georgia is the state with most identity theft reports, South Dakota has the least reports (Federal Trade Commission, 2019) 
  • People aged 30-39 years reported 170,255 identity thefts, making it the age group with most reports (Federal Trade Commission, 2019)

 

Identity Theft Methods

  • COVID-19 has caused a spike in fake charity donation offers, scam employment posts, and fraudulent investment sites (Identity Force, 2020)  
  • Three most common identity theft types are: credit card fraud; other identity theft like email or social media,;and loan or lease fraud (Federal Trade Commission, 2019)  
  • Credit card fraud is the most common fraud with 271,000 reports from people who said their information was misused on an existing account or to open a new credit card account (Federal Trade Commission, 2019) 
  • Having online media accounts increases chances of identity theft by 46% (Javelin Strategy, 2016) 
  • While credit card frauds have declined, more complex frauds have been on the rise, complete account takeover frauds allow fraudsters to gain full access to victim accounts (Javelin Strategy, 2019) 
  • There were 679.000 mobile phone account takeovers in 2019, significantly more than previous years (Javelin Strategy, 2019)

 

Lasting Consequences of Identity Theft

  • Severe emotional distress was reported by almost a fifth of victims to identity theft (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2019) 
  • 23% of fraud victims did not get reimbursement from identity theft in 2019, that is three times as many as 2016 (Javelin Strategy, 2019) 
  • Two-thirds of victims reported direct financial harm from identity theft (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2019) 
  • Some indirect consequences for identity theft victims are lowered credit, legal fees, and lost employment opportunities (Center for Victim Research, 2019) 
  • Younger people aged 20-29 (33%) reported losing money to fraud more often than old people (13%) aged 70-79 (Federal Trade Commission, 2019) 
  • But the monetary losses of old people are much higher compared to younger people, almost four times higher (Federal Trade Commission, 2019)

 

Identity Theft Discovery and Prevention

  • 10% of fraud victims spent at least 130 hours resolving problems, 42% were resolved within a day, and 3% were still experiencing problems half a year later (Center for Victim Research, 2019) 
  • Almost half (48%) of victims learn about the crime after a financial institution contacts them (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2019) 
  • Most victims do not know how their data was stolen and who stole it (Center for Victim Research, 2019) 
  • 7% of identity theft victims reported the crime to police (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2019) 
  • 62% of consumer said they are not worried about the security of their online personal information (Experian, 2017)

 

Businesses and Cybersecurity

  • 31% of small businesses are not taking any measures to mitigate cyber risk (CSID, 2017) 
  • 58% of small businesses are worried about cyber-attacks, and yet only 49% are allocating a budget to better prepare (CSID, 2017) 
  • With security breaches in companies like Equifax and Marriot, ransomware attacks have become a frequent method for criminals to get ahold of sensitive personal records (IBM, 2016) 
  • The Equifax breach exposed sensitive personal information of over 147 million people, including Social Security Numbers (FTC, 2020)

 

Understanding the statisticsmagnitude as well as direct and indirect consequences identity theft can have on victims is a crucial step in raising awareness and preventing it. Companies looking to protect employees can look into identity theft insurance providers as a benefit to give their workers peace of mind and protection.