Do you know the annual cost of identity theft? Looking to assess your chances of becoming an identity theft scheme victim? We compiled 15 of the most staggering identity theft crime statistics for you.
They are numbers you truly have to see to believe:
1. Identity theft affected 10 million people last year, according to a 2009 Javelin Strategy & Research Center study compiling identity theft crime statistics. That’s up 22% from 2007.
2. The mean cost of identity theft per ID theft victim is $500, the Javelin study found.
Think you’ve heard it all when it comes to stories about identity theft? Think again. Check out these 10 shocking but true identity theft stories.
1. Get Your Identity Stolen…And Then Get Sued.
Imagine: You’re a single mom from the Bronx working hard to get by on just $2,000 a month. Suddenly one day, $38,000 disappears from your savings account and your bank slaps you with a lawsuit demanding $23,000! That’s exactly what happened to Gloria Carlo two years ago, the New York Post reports. Carlo says she lost more than $68,000 in total as a result of identity thieves stealing her information and making purchases on Jewelry Television, Shop NBC, QVC and the Home Shopping Network.
Sure, you relentlessly guard your Social Security number.
True, you go above and beyond to safeguard your credit card information.
And not even the wisest identity thief could crack your passwords.
But are you safe from medical records theft, too?
You may not even realize you need to protect your medical information. But a growing number of identity theft victims are victims of medical records theft. According to a 2007 Federal Trade Commission survey, the most recent of its kind, there were 3 times as many medical information theft victims in 2005 compared to 2001. Medical identity thieves may use your information to:
Are your kids safe online? Children these days spend hours on the Internet, whether they’re doing their homework, playing games or communicating with friends. But could they be losing their identities online, as well?
As a parent, you’ve likely set some parameters for keeping your kids safe online: the sites they can visit, the hours they can spend online and the people they should steer clear of. But identity thieves become savvier and more cunning every day.
Follow these 8 tips to ensure the identities of your kids are safe online:
September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month and the time college students are making their way, sometimes for the first time, to unfamiliar college campuses. Many parents are worried about college student safety and their child being away from home–but many never dreamed that they would have to worry about their child’s identity being stolen and possible financial ruin.
College students have always been easy marks for identity theft because their credit is ripe for the taking. Students’ Social Security numbers have traditionally been openly displayed on student badges, testing information, in filing cabinets and databases all over campus. Landlords and those involved in campus housing also have access to students’ identifying information.
In light of the recent data breach involving a former informant for the Secret Service in which some 130 million credit card numbers were compromised, ID theft expert Robert Siciliano appeared on Danny Fontana on Finance to explain some simple proactive steps that everyone can take to protect themselves from having their identities stolen.
Identity theft is scary and surprising when it comes from the hands of a stranger. But think of what it must feel like if your own family members stole your identity and used it for their own financial gains?
It recently became frighteningly clear that no one is immune to identity theft schemes, not even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. On Aug. 25, Newsweek reported that Bernanke was one of hundreds of victims in an elaborate identity theft scheme. Led by Clyde Austin Gray Jr., who has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, the criminals stole more than $2.1 million from hundreds of consumers and 10 financial institutions.
Even those who think they follow all of the internet security “rules” can still become the victim of identity theft. Lori Savage, whose identity was stolen as a result of a phishing attack, found out that the hard way.
In this CBS News video, Savage says she considered herself savvy in doing business online. She frequently banked and shopped online, and followed all of the recommended security practices. But one day when she tried to make a purchase with her bank card, Savage discovered that an identity thief had stolen $3,000 from her account.