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Identity Theft Statistics

In 2007, 8.4 million Americans were victimized by identity theft. The cost to consumers that year was $49.3 Billion.

Between 2008 and 2009, incidences of identity theft increased by 11% - affecting the lives of 11 million Americans. This is according to Javelin Strategies, a research firm that keeps track of identity theft, among other things.

If these numbers continue along the same path, one in 20 Americans will be victimized in 2010. According to Javelin Research, one in ten U.S. consumers had already been victimized by identity theft by 2009.

It can take as much as 5,840 hours of effort to correct the damage done by identity theft, but the average victim spends 330 hours in repairing the damage.

According to a 2005 Department of Justice report, those with incomes higher than $70,000 per year are twice as likely to experience identity theft than those with lesser incomes.

Not all identity theft is for use of credit – 7% of identity theft is for the use of medical insurance. Others steal identity to get a job or to rent a house.

Less than half of all victims discover that their identity has been stolen within 3 months. Up to 18% don’t make this discovery for 4 or more years. Young adults are more at risk than older Americans because they are likely to share computers or use library computers. And, because young people like music and videos, they are likely to install file sharing software on their computers.

Right now there are over 200 different file sharing sites – each of which requires users to download software to their computers. Once installed, some of this software allows anyone in the world access to ALL the files on the computer.

Identity thieves gather data both on line and off. Some are sophisticated thieves who use technology with which to steal. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who gather other people’s trash, looking for cast off information that contains account numbers, Social Security numbers, insurance numbers, birth dates, etc.
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