Identity theft is a problem that is constantly on the rise. Every year, the number of people who fall victim to identity theft crime increases, as identity theft statistics reveal.
As if that isn’t bad enough, dealing with the aftermath of identity theft can be incredibly time-consuming and frustrating. So, how can we increase our safety as more sensitive data is transferred online and saved on the cloud?
The first step is getting informed about the dangers and the most common methods of identity theft. That’s why we’ll provide you with some alarming facts about this growing problem.
Facts About Identity Theft (Editor’s Choice)
- In 2020, total scams and fraud losses climbed to $56 billion.
- There were 1,701 identity theft reports per 100,000 residents in DC in 2021.
- In 2020, there were 4.9 million identity theft and fraud reports.
- More than 22,833 identity theft victims were under 19 in 2021.
- Three-quarters of illegal immigrants use fake or stolen numbers.
- From January to July 2022, there were 8,545 reports of identity theft in Australia.
- In H1 2021, the number of UK identity theft and fraud reports increased by 11%.
- 45% of adults in India have faced identity theft issues.
Facts on Identity Theft in 2020
As every FBI identity theft report would confirm, the past three years have challenged government organizations battling identity theft and fraud. Companies, organizations, medical facilities, and many others moved their communication with clients primarily online.
As a result, the quantity of sensitive information transferred that way increased dramatically. Combined with the Covid Stimulus program that pumped trillions of dollars into the economy and personal accounts, it became a very enticing situation for cybercriminals.
1. Total scams and fraud losses climbed to $56 billion in 2020.
Identity theft stats show that out of that number, around $43 billion in losses can be attributed to identity fraud scams. So, the cost of identity theft should not be underestimated.
By staying informed and being aware of the latest scams, you can help keep your hard-earned money out of the hands of criminals.
2. Traditional identity fraud brought $13 billion in losses in 2020, stats on identity theft show.
Even though the overall losses skyrocketed, the impact of traditional identity fraud has decreased by 21% from 2019.
So, fraudsters are slowly moving away from old methods and devising better ways to persuade victims to give them the required information willingly.
3. Identity theft reports concerning government benefits went up an astounding 2,920% in 2020.
The increase in this identity theft percentage is mainly due to the exploitation of the federal Covid-19 relief program. Data says that scammers most commonly claim to represent government agencies.
In fact, they ask for personal and financial information, pretending to help people collect benefits or navigate the bureaucracy, which leads to financial identity fraud.
4. US identity theft statistics reveal that between 2019 and 2020, 47% of consumers in the US experienced ID theft.
A recent identity theft research showed that out of those, 37% suffered application fraud (for example, someone tried to use their identity to open an account), and 38% experienced an attempted or successful account takeover (i.e., unauthorized access to a consumer’s existing account).
5. FTC identity theft statistics show there were 4.9 million identity theft and fraud reports in 2020.
(Insurance Information Institute)
There was a 44% increase in 2020 from 3.4 million identity thefts in 2019. Mostly, it was due to the 113% of identity theft complaint increase.
Furthermore, almost a third of these complaints involved government benefits. The federal stimulus payments were the most popular Covid-19 scam.
Identity Theft Facts From 2021 and 2022
Even though government institutions are putting extra effort into battling identity theft and fraud, the latest data doesn’t look promising. With the economy recovering, there are more opportunities for criminals to exploit. So, let’s take a look at the latest data.
6. In 2021, there were 1,701 identity theft reports per 100,000 residents in DC, according to identity theft statistics by state.
(Insurance Information Institute)
The total number of identity theft reports in 2021 came to 12,004 in DC. Georgia came second in the rate of identity theft reports per capita, with 1,421 per 100,000 people.
At the same time, the state with the lowest number of identity theft reports per capita was Puerto Rico, with 260 reports per 100,000 residents.
7. The Dark Web prices for hacked social media accounts dropped between 10% and 76% in 2021.
Social media identity theft statistics show that the prices for stolen accounts are dropping. For example, social media scammers earn from $75 to $65 for a hacked Facebook account.
Moreover, Instagram went down from $55 to $45, and Twitter from $49 to $35. The price of Gmail profiles significantly went down—from $156 to $80.
8. Cloned American Express with PIN had a 40% higher price than VISA or MasterCard on the black market in 2021.
Cloned credit cards are available for purchase on the Dark Web, and American Express cards are the most expensive. In other words, American Express is the priciest card on the Dark Web, at $35. As for Mastercard and VISA, each of them costs $25.
9. Statistics on identity theft show that the US identity theft insurance market is worth $262.9 million.
This represents an increase of 5.6% from the previous year when the market was worth $249 million. Identity theft insurance helps protect consumers if their personal information is stolen and used to commit fraud.
This type of insurance can reimburse customers for expenses related to identity theft, such as lost wages and legal fees. It can also provide access to services that can help customers recover their stolen identities.
10. Child identity theft statistics reveal that over 22,833 identity theft victims were younger than 19 in 2021.
This reflects a 63% increase over the 14,000 reported in 2019. Unfortunately, the problem is only getting worse, and everyone needs to be aware of the risks. While child identity theft may not be as common as adult identity theft, it can be just as damaging.
11. Victims of identity theft lost $52 billion in 2021, as financial identity theft statistics uncover.
So, you should shred any documents that contain sensitive information and avoid giving out personal information online, which may lead to identity theft on the Internet.
Also, monitor your credit report for fraud. Keep in mind that according to credit card fraud statistics, the US accounted for 30% of the global card fraud loss in 2019.
12. In 2021, your Walmart account with a credit card attached was worth $14 on the Dark Web.
Overall, the prices of personal information on the Dark Web fluctuate depending on the demand, and the price for Walmart accounts increased by $4 from 2020. As more and more transactions are conducted online, your Walmart account has become a hot commodity.
Online Identity Theft Statistics
Although cybertheft and data breaches don’t happen as often as identity thefts, they are more significant—the number of cybercrime victims in each can be from hundreds of thousands to even millions. If you are a victim, check where and how to file a police report for identity theft.
Identity theft is one of the most common cybercrimes.
13. Data breaches increased by 38% in the second quarter of 2021.
Apart from the identity theft statistics mentioned above, this sharp increase also highlights the need for businesses to take action in securing their data.
For example, companies should ensure that all their data is encrypted. This will make it much more difficult for hackers to access and steal sensitive information.
Hacking statistics find that every 39 seconds, a hacker attack occurs. So, companies should regularly test their security systems to identify potential vulnerabilities and install the best antivirus software.
Antivirus statistics note that in the US, 45 million households rely on antivirus software for personal use.
14. 40% of US businesses will make investing in fraud detection their top priority, as per corporate fraud statistics.
However, that is less than in Europe or South America. For instance, 52% of German and 66% of Brazilian companies plan to prioritize fraud detection.
The US percentages are baffling, considering what Internet privacy statistics disclose—44% of US customers say they are worried about their online privacy and safety, compared to only 23% in Europe.
15. The nonprofit’s K-12 Cyber Incident Map tracked 166 school online scams in 2021.
In comparison, that was down by 59% from 2020. In fact, in a record-breaking year for school cyber incidents, 408 public incidents were reported.
More specifically, this decrease can be attributed to schools’ increased awareness of and investment in cybersecurity measures, as cybersecurity stats show.
As facts about identity theft confirm, school cyber incidents often lead to identity theft.
16. Cybersecurity breaches in the healthcare industry affected a record-breaking 45 million individuals in 2021.
This is up from 34 million in 2020. These breaches expose patients’ protected health information (PHI) and can have a devastating impact on their lives.
In addition to the emotional distress caused by having one’s personal information exposed, patients may suffer financial damages if their PHI is used to commit fraud or identity theft, as identity fraud statistics imply.
17. Data breaches in the healthcare industry increased by 58% in 2020.
More and more medical facilities create web portals to interact with clients and patients, and consequently, more sensitive information is transferred online than ever. Unfortunately, that makes them a tempting target for cybercriminals.
Medical identity theft stats show that 3.5 million people were the victims of the largest 2021 healthcare data breach.
Moreover, 77% of the cyberattacks against healthcare in 2020 were conducted to get identity information; in 67% of them, attackers also stole medical information. Around 18% of these attacks aimed to acquire medical credentials.
Interesting Stats About Identity Theft
18. There was a 225% increase in tax-related and employment fraud in the first three quarters of 2020.
(Experian, Federal Trade Commission)
After an 80% drop from 677,000 to 137,000 between 2015 to 2019, the numbers rose again in 2020. By the end of the third quarter of 2020, there were 92,620 reports of tax-related identity theft.
All the criminals need to make a false tax report to collect the refund is your full name, birth date, and SSN and incriminate you.
19. Tax identity theft statistics note that the IRS saved $26 billion by preventing confirmed identity theft tax returns.
(IRS, Federal Trade Commission)
The IRS constantly increases its efforts to battle tax-related identity thefts. Besides the savings between 2015 and 2019, its financial sector associates recovered another $1.7 billion in fraudulent tax refunds.
20. According to the Social Security Administration, 75% of illegal immigrants use fake or stolen numbers.
(The Center Square)
So, illegal immigrants and identity theft statistics note that three-quarters of illegal immigrants in the United States use fraudulent or stolen Social Security numbers to obtain work.
This widespread practice can have many negative consequences for illegal immigrants and Americans.
For illegal immigrants, using fake credentials, like a Social Security number, can make it difficult to open a bank account, obtain credit, or apply for government benefits. Furthermore, they may be deported if caught using a fraudulent number.
For American citizens, the widespread Social Security fraud can result in higher taxes and decreased benefits from the Social Security Administration. In addition, ID theft statistics suggest it can create identity theft risks for those with their numbers stolen.
21. The number of mail theft reports increased by 600% between 2017 and 2020.
So, there was a significant rise in mail thefts from around 25,000 in 2017 to about 177,000 in the first three quarters of 2020.
Moreover, robbers have given up on robbing individual mailboxes on the streets and are stealing directly from the post offices in bulk and sometimes even in broad daylight.
Mail theft can also lead to identity theft. When personal information such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers is stolen, it can be used to open new accounts or make fraudulent charges. Mail identity theft statistics point out this crime is very common.
22. Over the period of 83 days in mid-2020, there were 24 cases of thieves targeting carriers or their victims.
More specifically, the Postal Police incident reports for 83 days from March to September 2020 showed 24 cases of thieves attempting to steal mail from carriers and their vehicles. On average, this was one in every three and a half days.
Identity Theft Statistics Worldwide
In general, the US is not the only one affected by this surge in identity theft trends.
As more companies, organizations, and government institutions in the world are going digital to accommodate more clients, it opens new opportunities for digital theft.
23. In the first eight months of 2022, there were 10,051 reports of identity theft in Australia, as ID theft stats show.
In comparison, things were somewhat different in the same period of the previous year. In fact, the number of reported identity theft cases was higher —15,764.
There are many possible explanations for this decrease. One possibility is that people have become more aware of the importance of protecting their personal information.
Another possibility is that identity thieves have become more sophisticated in their methods, making it harder for victims to detect fraud.
24. 1% of EU residents had financial losses due to ID theft, fraudulent messages, or false website redirection in 2020.
Eurostat published some identity theft victim statistics in 2020, revealing that 26% of EU citizens had received fraudulent messages. Fraudsters tried to obtain information, such as usernames and passwords for email accounts and login information for e-banking.
Online banking statistics find that banking Trojans attacked 625,364 PC users in 2020. Furthermore, 13% of EU residents were redirected to false websites where they were asked to disclose personal information.
25. In 2021, fraud attempt instances increased by 218% in Canada’s financial sector.
Transunion recently published its findings on fraud attempts against companies in the financial sector.
Through the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, global fraud attempts increased by 149%. Additionally, business identity theft statistics confirm that the most common type was using a stolen identity.
26. The number of UK identity theft and fraud rates increased by 11% in the first half of 2021.
The National Fraud Database UK reports that the number of cases again rose after declining in 2020 due to reduced economic activity. In 2021, it reached 180,000 cases in the first six months.
Even though the economy is recovering, criminals have much more activity and opportunities. The same pattern was observed after the 2008 world financial crisis.
27. Identity theft is a serious problem in India, with 45% of adults having experienced it, identity theft statistics point out.
This figure is only set to rise, as 6 in 10 adults worry about their identity being stolen. In addition, a cybercrime report notes that a lot of Indians are victims of cybercrime and face cybercrime attacks, such as phishing, spear-phishing, malware, and similar.
Remember what phishing statistics and malware statistics uncover—phishing attacks in the US more than doubled in 2020, and new malware is discovered every 0.2 seconds. Mobile malware statistics show a rise, too.
While many people (65%) feel that they are well-protected against identity theft, the truth is that a lot have no idea what to do if it occurs to them.
Identity Theft Statistics—The Bottom Line
Identity theft is difficult to detect as victims have no idea it has been stolen, so it’s not reported on time. It’s not only financial identity theft, but the consequences also damage our health, business, social status, and more.
Although there is no such thing as complete protection, we can still make ourselves a less easy mark. Regular credit and background checks on suspicious individuals and being careful about where you give away your personal data are great first steps.
Another step is acquiring one of the finest ID Theft Protection services and contacting some cybersecurity companies. Knowing the most common ways of online identity theft can help ID theft prevention.
People Also Ask
How often does identity theft happen?
Identity theft numbers estimate that there’s a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds. Despite this identity theft frequency, the good news is that you can take steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
What is the main cause of identity theft?
The leading cause of identity theft is people’s lack of security measures to protect their personal information.
Many people think they don’t have anything worth stealing or are not important enough for someone to go through the trouble of stealing their identity, but this is not always the case.
What is the most common crime of identity theft?
Credit card fraud cases are the most common type of identity theft. However, while credit card fraud and identity theft are closely related, credit card fraud is not the only kind of identity theft.
Is identity theft increasing or decreasing?
Identity theft is increasing because of digital data proliferation. With so much personal information being shared online and stored in electronic formats, it’s become more accessible than ever for thieves to steal identities and use them to commit fraud.
How many online identities are fake?
An estimated 26% of social media users have created fake profiles. This means that around one-quarter of all social media users have fabricated their personal information on at least one site.
How many identities are stolen each year?
In the United States alone, an estimated 9 million identities are stolen each year, according to the Federal Trade Commission report and its identity theft statistics. And those are just the cases that are reported.