There are 19 New Victims of Identity Theft Every Minute of Every Day

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How many people are victims of identity theft each year?

There are 19 New Victims of Identity Theft Every Minute of Every Day

Identity theft statistics are somewhat of a moving target, with new data being gathered and analyzed each year by various interest groups and government organizations. However there are common facts and findings that all documented studies agree upon:

An approximate 10 million people are victims of identity theft every year. That translates to 19 new victims every minute of every day.

The trend is not slowing. Between 2001 and 2002 the reported incidence of identity theft rose 20 percent, and between 2002 and 2003 it increased a whopping 80 percent. More recently, in 2006, the reported identity theft and fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accounted for more than one-third (36 percent) of the total number of complaints for the year. That equates to nearly 250,000 documented reports.

Knowledge of protection and prevention is surprisingly low. According to a study conducted by Harris Interactive, despite the increase of identity theft crimes and expressed concerns of respondents, less than half the people polled stated that they knew how to adequately protect themselves from possible victimization.

The good news for consumers is that more and more government agencies and independent businesses are stepping up to increase consumer awareness of both the identity theft stats and preventive measures that can be taken by individuals.

To begin your own identity theft research and become an informed consumer, you will find helpful information from the FTC web site and from the Identity Theft Resource Center online.

   

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