|NESS National Employee Screening Services|
11.7 Million Persons Reported
Identity Theft Victimization In 2008
December 18, 2010
- An estimated 11.7 million persons, representing five percent of all
persons age 16 or older in the United States, were victims of identity
theft during the two years prior to being surveyed in 2008, the Bureau
of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced. The financial losses due to the
identity theft totaled more than $17 billion.
Identity theft was
defined in the survey as the attempted or successful misuse of an
existing account, such as a debit or credit account, misuse of personal
information to open a new account, or misuse of personal information for
other fraudulent purposes, such as obtaining government benefits.
Approximately 6.2 million victims (three percent of all persons age 16 or older) experienced the unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing credit card account, the most prevalent type of identity theft. An estimated 4.4 million persons reported the misuse or attempted misuse of a banking account, such as a debit, checking or savings account.
million persons experienced the fraudulent misuse of their information
to open a new account, and about 618,900 persons reported the misuse of
their information to commit other crimes, such as fraudulently obtaining
medical care or government benefits or providing false information to
law enforcement during a crime or traffic stop. About 16 percent of all
victims (1.8 million persons) experienced multiple types of identity
theft during the two-year period.
About 23 percent
of all victims suffered an out-of-pocket financial loss due to the
victimization. Of the victims who experienced a personal loss, the
average out-of-pocket financial loss was $1,870, with half losing $200
or less. Approximately 40 percent of victims had some idea about how
their identifying information was obtained. Of those who knew how the
theft occurred, about 30 percent believed their information was stolen
during a purchase or other transaction. Another 20 percent believed the
information was stolen from a wallet or checkbook, followed by 14
percent who thought the information was stolen from personnel or other
files at the office.
Men and women were
equally likely to experience identity theft, but a greater percentage of
persons ages 16 to 24 (6 percent) were victims of at least one type of
identity theft than persons age 65 or older (3.7 percent). Persons
living in households with an income of $75,000 or more were more likely
to experience identity theft (7 percent) than persons in households with
|About 17 percent of identity theft victims reported the incident to a law enforcement agency. The majority of victims (68 percent) reported the theft to a bank or credit card company. More than 40 percent of victims spent a day or less resolving the financial and credit problems associated with the identity theft. An estimated 27 percent spent more than a month clearing up the problems.|
spent more than six months resolving the problems associated with
the identity theft were more likely to report that the experience
was severely distressing, compared to victims who cleared up the
problems in a day or less. Overall, about 20 percent of victims
described the identity theft as severely distressing.
three percent of victims reported that the victimization caused
significant problems at work or school. Six percent reported
experiencing significant relationship problems with family or
friends as a result of the theft.
|©NESS National Employee Screening Services|