25 Alarming Identity Theft Statistics (And How To Protect Yourself)

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Unfortunately, identity theft is happening more and more frequently in the modern, digital age. Before you know it, you might become one of the next identity theft victims. Below are 25 alarming statistics that will make you want to hide in a hole with all of your personal information! (Okay, maybe not that extreme.) But identity thieves are thrifty, and no one is exempt from their trickery. Read on to learn more ID theft facts and what you can do about it.

25 Facts About Identity Theft

Here are fun stats about identity theft (or should we say interesting facts about identity theft).

  1. ID theft happened once every 2 seconds in 2017.4
  2. Victims of identity theft spent over 140 million hours trying to resolve their issues in 2017.4
  3. The average cost for each lost or stolen record was $225 in 2017 ($221 in 2016).7
  4. The average size of data breaches increased 1.8% in 2017 to more than 24,000 records.7
  5. In 2017, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud.8
  6. In 2017, identity thieves stole $16.8 billion from consumers in the U.S.8
  7. 6.64% of consumers were victims of identity fraud in 2017.8
  8. In 2016, 13% (399,225) of complaints filed to the FTC were about identity theft, which was the third most common complaint.3
  9. 36 million records (including doctor’s office, school, etc.) were breached in 2016.4
  10. Organizations spent an average of $7.01 million on data breaches in 2015 compared to $7.35 million in 2016.7
  11. You are more likely to have your identity stolen than your car taken or home burglarized.4
  12. Children are susceptible to identity theft. Since most people under 18 are not actively applying for credit or monitoring it, minors can become easy prey.4
  13. Up to 18% of victims take 4 years or more to discover they are victims of identity theft.5
  14. 38-48% of victims discover their identities were stolen within 3 months.5
  15. Victims spend anywhere from 3 to 5,840 hours repairing the damage caused by having their identities stolen. The average time spent repairing damage from ID theft is 330 hours.5
  16. 26-32% of victims spend 4 to 6 months dealing with their case.5
  17. 11-23% of victims spend 7 months to 1 year dealing with their case.5
  18. Victims lose an average of $1,820 to $14,340 in wages dealing with their cases.5
  19. An additional $851 to $1,378 is spent by victims toward expenses related to their cases.5
  20. 66% of victims’ information is used to open a new credit account.5
  21. 43% of victims think they know the person who stole their identity.5
  22. Close to 50% of victims have difficulty getting loans or credit because of identity theft.6
  23. In early 2015, Intuit (TurboTax) had to shut down e-filing because of an influx of fraudulent tax returns.1
  24. Medical identity theft is on the rise; there were 500,000 victims in 2014 alone.1
  25. In 2014, $5.8 billion was given to identity thieves from the IRS due to fraudulent returns. Identity thieves use random social security numbers to file tax forms and by chance, it could be yours.2

Identity Theft Statistics Infographic

There are so many interesting facts about stealing your identity we turned them into an identity theft facts infographic to help spread awareness about this growing issue.

Identity Theft Statistics Infographic

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Don’t Be One Of The ID Theft Statistics

These identity fraud facts might have you running scared. That’s why we recommend that you protect yourself from identity theft by purchasing identity theft protection. Begin your search for the perfect service by checking out our massive ID theft comparison. Our article goes over the key features, pros, cons, pricing and more for each service. It also covers tips to protect yourself from ID theft and how to recover if you’ve already been victimized.

Have you been a victim of identity theft? How bad was it?

Sources: [1] Credit.com, [2] Forbes[3] FTC[4] LifeLock, [5] Spam Laws[6] Identity Theft: A Reference Handbook, [7] IBM, [8] Javelin

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

Kimberly has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering subjects such as home security and automation, identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Security is a passion of hers, and she knows it isn’t a one size fits all category. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

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Amanda Franklin
you should add ID Sanctuary to your comparison. You will find it is every bit as good or better than the products listed. It is powered by industry leader IDT911.
“19 people become victims of identity theft every minute.” That was an alarming statistic, so I clicked on your reference and did not see the attribution. Your link leads to an article from the FTC, but that article does not support your statement. Where did you get that statistic?
Yikes! These stats are very alarming…I had no clue that theft of medical records is on the rise. Not good for the older folks like me who are already skeptical of technology when it comes to digitizing our personal health records. And that makes sense that children are targets too! Gosh, those thieves are so rude to target the naive. Thanks for sharing these tips!