Identity Theft: How big is the threat, really?
July 13th, 2012
When people access your personal information for personal gain, it’s called identity theft. But that doesn’t mean the bad guys had to uncover every bit of your personal information. Some of these criminals have real expertise in taking a little info here and a little data there, and using it as a platform to get even more. All to develop a surprisingly complete profile.
With that said, along with all the news about hackers and breaches and stolen accounts, it is somewhat surprising that many people still have the “it can’t happen to me” mindset. Maybe it won’t. Maybe it will.
Here are some numbers that put things in perspective, just so you know that the threat is indeed real.
Identity theft by the numbers.
Number of identities stolen every three seconds1
Number of U.S. adult identity theft victims in 20112
How many times more likely you are to be an identity theft victim if you received a breach notification2
Percentage of increased likelihood of fraud for smartphone owners2
Percentage of Americans surveyed who said they were seriously concerned about identity theft3
1, 2, 3
Florida, Georgia and California state rankings for the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints4
Largest reported dollar amount of identity fraud committed against a child5
Percentage of identity theft cases involving phone, utility, bank and employment fraud6
Perhaps you now have a fresher perspective on the threat of identity theft. And while it isn’t cause to break into a sweat with paranoia, it certainly is smart to be aware of how, where, when and to whom you are passing along your personal information. Be vigilant.
1 Javelin Strategy & Research and LifeLock’s internal calculations. 2012 Identity Fraud Survey Report. Javelin Strategy & Research. February 2012.
2 Javelin Strategy & Research. 2012 Identity Fraud Survey Report. February 2012.
3 U.S. Unisys Security Index, 2011
4 FTC Consumer Sentinel Network, 2011
5 Child Identity Theft, Carnegie Mellon CyLab 2009-2010
6 TransUnion Identity Theft Facts