Identity Theft Statistics 2024 By Reveal, Risks, Technology

Tajammul Pangarkar
Tajammul Pangarkar

Updated · May 10, 2024

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Introduction

Identity Theft Statistics: Identity theft refers to the fraudulent acquisition and use of someone’s personal information without their consent, typically for financial gain.

It is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for individuals, affecting their financial stability, reputation, and overall well-being.

The identity theft cases, perpetrators obtain personal information such as social security numbers, credit card details, bank account information, or other sensitive data.

This stolen information is then used to impersonate the victim, make unauthorized transactions, open new accounts, or engage in various fraudulent activities.

Identity Theft Statistics

Editor’s Choice

  • The Identity Theft Protection Services Market size is expected to be worth around USD 34.7 Billion by 2032, from USD 12.5 Billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 12.4% during the forecast period from 2024 to 2033.
  • About 5.7 million cases of Fraud and Identity Theft were reported to FTC as of July 2023.
  • Identity theft cost victims a staggering $56 billion globally in 2022.
  • Approximately 14.4 million credit card numbers were exposed to data breaches in the United States in 2022, leading to potential identity theft cases.
  • Social security number breaches accounted for 88% of all exposed records in data breaches in the United States.
  • Synthetic identity theft, where criminals combine real and fabricated information to create new identities, accounted for nearly 80% of all credit card fraud losses.
  • According to the survey, 33% of respondents in the United States experienced identity theft or fraud in the past year.
  • Identity theft is not limited to individuals; businesses are also at risk. In 2022, 46% of businesses reported experiencing at least one incident of identity theft or fraud.

(Source: FTC, Statista, Identity Theft Resource Center, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners)

Global Identity Theft Statistics

  • In 2022, there were approximately 1.4 million reports of identity theft in the United States.
  • Identity theft accounted for 54% of all reported fraud cases in the United States in 2022.
  • According to a global study, identity theft affected around 33% of respondents in 2022.
  • In the United States, the average financial loss per identity theft victim was $1,290 in 2022.
  • Social Security number theft accounted for 36% of all identity theft cases in the United States in 2022.
  • Synthetic identity theft, where fraudsters create new identities using a combination of real and fake information, is estimated to have cost businesses around $800 million in 2022 in the United States.
  • Data breaches remain a significant source of stolen personal information. In 2022, there were 1,001 reported data breaches in the United States, exposing over 155 million records.

(Source: Norton LifeLock, Identity Theft Resource Center)

Identity Theft Statistics – Financial Identity Theft

  • Financial identity theft accounted for 37% of all identity theft complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2022.
  • The total financial losses due to identity theft reported by consumers in the United States exceeded $1.9 billion in 2022.
  • Credit card fraud was the most common type of financial identity theft, representing 27% of all reported cases in 2022.
  • Bank account or credit card fraud was reported by 36% of identity theft victims in the United States in 2022.
  • The average out-of-pocket cost to victims of financial identity theft in the United States was $393 in 2022.
  • In 2022, individuals aged 30 to 39 reported the highest rates of financial identity theft, accounting for 20% of all victims.
  • Synthetic identity theft, a type of financial identity theft that involves creating a new identity using a combination of real and fake information, has been on the rise. It accounted for 80-85% of all new account fraud in the United States in 2022.
  • Financial institutions incurred losses of approximately $1.5 billion due to synthetic identity fraud in 2022.
  • Identity theft through tax refund fraud remains a significant concern. The IRS reported preventing approximately $2.3 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2022.

(Source: Javelin Strategy & Research, Federal Trade Commission)

Medical Identity Theft – Identity Theft Statistics

  • Approximately 2.3 million cases of medical identity theft occurred in the United States in 2021.
  • Medical identity theft accounted for approximately 41% of all reported identity theft cases in the United States in 2021.
  • The average cost per victim of medical identity theft was $13,500 in 2021.
  • Around 55% of medical identity theft victims had to pay an average of $2,500 in out-of-pocket expenses to resolve the issue.
  • It takes an average of 210 hours for a victim of medical identity theft to resolve the associated problems.
  • The most common method of medical identity theft is the theft or misuse of personal identification credentials, such as health insurance cards or Social Security numbers.
  • Insider breaches, where healthcare employees misuse patient information, accounted for approximately 15% of medical identity theft incidents.
  • According to a survey, 50% of healthcare organizations reported experiencing a medical identity theft incident in 2021.
  • The financial impact of medical identity theft on healthcare organizations averaged $2.7 million per breach incident in 2021.
  • It is estimated that medical identity theft costs the U.S. healthcare system around $41.3 billion annually.

(Source: Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, Ponemon Institute)

Social Security Identity Theft

  • Social Security number theft accounted for 32% of all reported identity theft cases in the United States in 2022.
  • The median loss for victims of Social Security identity theft was $400 in 2022.
  • Individuals aged 30-39 were the most common age group targeted for Social Security identity theft in 2022.
  • Social Security identity theft often occurs as a result of data breaches, where cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to databases containing personal information, including Social Security numbers.
  • Tax-related identity theft, including the fraudulent use of Social Security numbers, continues to be a significant problem, with criminals using stolen SSNs to file false tax returns and claim refunds.
  • In 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prevented $2.3 billion in fraudulent tax refunds related to identity theft, including SSN theft.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission, Internal Revenue Service)

Child Identity Theft

  • Approximately 1 million children in the United States were victims of identity theft in 2017.
  • Children are 51 times more likely to be victims of identity theft compared to adults.
  • The average age of child identity theft victims is 12 years old.
  • In cases of child identity theft, 60% of the perpetrators are known to the victim, such as a family member or a close acquaintance.
  • The most common type of child identity theft is the misuse of the child’s Social Security number, accounting for approximately 66% of cases.
  • Child identity theft can go undetected for years, with the average duration being 12 years before discovery.
  • Child identity theft can have severe financial consequences, with an average cost of $2,303 per victim.

(Source: Javelin Strategy & Research, Identity Theft Resource Center)

Synthetic Identity Theft

  • Synthetic identity theft is estimated to account for 80-85% of all identity fraud in the United States.
  • It is estimated that synthetic identity theft costs lenders in the United States between $6 billion and $8 billion annually.
  • According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), synthetic identity theft is one of the fastest-growing and most difficult-to-detect forms of identity theft.
  • The average duration of a synthetic identity fraud scheme is approximately 12-18 months before detection.
  • Financial institutions reported a 105% increase in losses related to synthetic identity theft from 2018 to 2022.
  • Synthetic identity theft is often associated with credit card fraud, accounting for approximately 20% of credit losses for large U.S. banks.
  • The Social Security Administration estimates that approximately 11% of children in the United States have a synthetic identity associated with their Social Security Number.

(Source: Federal Reserve System, Auriemma Consulting Group, Federal Trade Commission, McKinsey & Company, LexisNexis Risk Solutions)

Identity Theft Victims by Age Group

18-29 Age Group:

  • Percentage of identity theft victims: 34%
  • Top methods used to steal identities: Data breaches, phishing, and social engineering

(Source: ITRC)

30-39 Age Group:

  • Percentage of identity theft victims: 21%
  • The most common type of identity theft is financial identity theft

40-49 Age Group:

  • Percentage of identity theft victims: 18%
  • Top vulnerability: Medical identity theft due to high healthcare activity

50-59 Age Group:

  • Percentage of identity theft victims: 16%
  • The most common method of identity theft is phishing attacks targeting personal information

(Source: Javelin Strategy & Research)

Age Group: 60 and above

  • Percentage of identity theft victims: 11%
  • Common types of identity theft: Social Security identity theft, Medicare fraud.

Identity Theft Methods

Data Breaches

  • In 2022, there were 1,001 reported data breaches in the United States alone, exposing over 155.8 million records.
  • The average cost of a data breach in 2022 was $3.86 million globally.

(Source: Identity Theft Resource Center, IBM Security)

Phishing and Social Engineering

  • Phishing attacks accounted for 32% of all reported data breaches in 2022.
  • In 2022, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) detected over 220,000 unique phishing websites.

(Source: Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report)

Skimming

  • Skimming accounted for 75% of all ATM-related fraud incidents in 2022.
  • The average loss per cardholder from skimming incidents in the United States was $1,205 in 2022.

(Source: Nilson Report, U.S. Federal Trade Commission)

Dumpster Diving

  • In a study conducted in 2022, 17% of identity theft cases involved information obtained through dumpster diving.
  • The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) requires businesses to take measures to prevent dumpster diving, such as shredding sensitive documents.

(Source: Javelin Strategy & Research, U.S. Federal Trade Commission)

Mail Theft

  • In 2022, there were 4,994 reported incidents of mail theft in the United States, a 20% increase from the previous year.
  • Stolen mail is often used to obtain personal information, such as credit card statements and financial documents.

(Source: Identity Theft Resource Center)

Online Identity Theft

  • Online identity theft incidents increased by 113% in 2022 compared to the previous year.
  • Social media platforms were a primary source of personal information used in online identity theft cases.

(Source: Javelin Strategy & Research)

Financial Impact – Identity Theft Statistics

  • Identity theft cost in the United States reached $56 billion in 2022, with over 4.4 million cases reported.
  • The average financial loss per identity theft victim in the United States was $1,107 in 2022.
  • Credit card fraud accounted for the highest percentage (35%) of identity theft cases in the United States in 2022.
  • In 2022, victims of identity theft spent an average of 34 hours resolving the associated problems.
  • Globally, the total cost of identity theft was estimated to be around $1.9 trillion in 2022.
  • Identity theft losses in the European Union amounted to €1.8 billion in 2019.
  • Business identity theft resulted in an average loss of $140,000 per incident in 2022.
  • Synthetic identity theft, where criminals create fictitious identities using a combination of real and fake information, cost businesses around $6 billion in 2022.
  • Tax-related identity theft resulted in fraudulent refunds worth $2.3 billion in the United States in 2022.
  • The average out-of-pocket cost for victims of medical identity theft in the United States was $13,500 per incident in 2022.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission, Cybersecurity Ventures, Internal Revenue Service, Ponemon Institute, European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Better Business Bureau)

Identity Theft Statistics – Social Media

Social Media Usage and Identity Theft Risk

  • Approximately 70% of internet users have at least one social media account, increasing their exposure to identity theft risks.
  • Social media users who share their full birthdate on their profiles are 4 times more likely to experience identity theft compared to those who do not.

(Source: Pew Research Center, Javelin Strategy & Research)

Social Engineering and Identity Theft

  • Social engineering attacks, such as phishing, are responsible for 98% of all identity theft incidents on social media.
  • Over 75% of social engineering attacks on social media involve fraudulent links or attachments.

(Source: Proofpoint, Digital Guardian)

Personal Information Exposure

  • About 68% of social media users share their high school name on their profiles, which can be used to answer security questions or impersonate them.
  • Posting vacation plans on social media can increase the risk of burglary and identity theft.

(Source: Pew Research Center, LegalShield)

Privacy Settings and User Awareness

  • Only 22% of social media users review their privacy settings regularly, potentially exposing personal information to identity thieves.
  • Approximately 64% of social media users are unaware of the privacy settings available on the platforms they use.

(Source: Pew Research Center)

Identity Theft Statistics – The United States

  • In 2022, there were approximately 1.4 million cases of identity theft reported in the United States.
  • Identity theft accounted for 54% of all reported fraud incidents in 2022.
  • The total financial losses due to identity theft in 2022 exceeded $3.3 billion.
  • Social Security number (SSN) theft was the most common type of identity theft, representing 44% of reported cases in 2022.
  • Credit card fraud was the second most common type of identity theft, accounting for 28% of reported cases in 2022.
  • In 2022, the median amount lost per victim of identity theft was $400.
  • Identity theft affected individuals of all age groups, but people in their 30s and 40s reported the highest rates of identity theft in 2022.
  • According to Javelin Strategy & Research, the number of identity fraud victims in the United States reached 14.4 million in 2019.
  • The average out-of-pocket cost for identity theft victims in 2019 was $1,050.
  • Approximately 16.7 million individuals experienced identity theft in the United States in 2017, resulting in a total financial loss of $16.8 billion.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission, Javelin Strategy & Research, Bureau of Justice Statistics)

Identity Theft Statistics – Prevention

  • Around 81% of data breaches are due to weak or stolen passwords.
  • Enabling 2FA can prevent 99% of account takeovers.
  • In 2022, there were over 1,001 reported data breaches in the United States alone.
  • The average cost of a data breach globally is $3.86 million.
  • 78% of people share personal information on social media, making themselves vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Identity theft insurance can cover financial losses and assist in recovering from identity theft.

(Source: Google, Identity Theft Resource Center, IBM Security, Statista)

Recent Developments

Acquisition:

  • Experian’s Acquisition of IdentityForce: Experian, a leading global information services company, acquired IdentityForce, a provider of identity theft protection services, for an undisclosed amount.
  • The acquisition strengthens Experian’s identity theft protection offerings and expands its presence in the identity theft protection market.

New Product Launches:

  • LifeLock’s Launch of Dark Web Monitoring: LifeLock, a subsidiary of Norton LifeLock, introduced Dark Web Monitoring, a new feature that helps users monitor the dark web for their personal information.
  • Dark Web Monitoring alerts users if their personal information, such as social security numbers or credit card numbers, is found on the dark web, allowing them to take proactive steps to protect their identity.

Funding:

  • Series C Funding Round for Identity Theft Detection Startup: Identity Guard, a startup specializing in identity theft detection and prevention solutions, raised $20 million in Series C funding led by venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners.
  • The funding will support Identity Guard’s expansion efforts and the development of advanced technologies to detect and mitigate identity theft risks for consumers and businesses.

Innovation in Identity Protection Technologies:

  • Adoption of Biometric Authentication: Companies are increasingly adopting biometric authentication technologies, such as fingerprint recognition and facial recognition, to enhance identity verification and authentication processes.
  • Biometric authentication offers greater security and convenience compared to traditional methods like passwords, reducing the risk of identity theft and unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Regulatory Initiatives:

  • Implementation of Data Protection Regulations: Governments worldwide are implementing data protection regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), to enhance consumer privacy rights and mitigate the risk of identity theft.
  • These regulations impose strict requirements on organizations for data handling, breach notification, and consumer consent, promoting transparency and accountability in data management practices.

Wrap Up

Identity Theft Statistics – Identity theft is a serious and pervasive crime that can have devastating consequences for its victims.

It involves the unauthorized use of someone’s personal information for fraudulent purposes, leading to financial loss, damaged credit, and emotional distress.

Identity theft can occur through various means, such as phishing scams, data breaches, and social engineering tactics.

Preventive measures such as safeguarding personal information, using strong passwords, and being cautious online are crucial in protecting oneself against identity theft.

Additionally, prompt reporting and taking necessary actions if identity theft occurs can help minimize the damage.

Overall, raising awareness about the risks and implementing effective security measures are essential steps in combating this ever-evolving threat.

FAQs

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is a crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal information, such as their name, Social Security number, credit card details, or other identifying information, without their permission, typically for financial gain.

How do thieves steal someone’s identity?

Identity thieves can employ various methods, including:

– Data breaches: They target organizations to gain unauthorized access to large amounts of personal information.
– Phishing: They send fraudulent emails or create fake websites to trick individuals into providing their personal information.
– Social engineering: They manipulate individuals into revealing their details through phone calls, posing as legitimate entities.
– Physical theft: They steal wallets, purses, mail, or documents containing personal information.
– Skimming: They use devices to capture credit card information during transactions.
– Dumpster diving: They search through trash for discarded documents containing personal information.

What can identity thieves do with stolen information?

– Opening new credit card accounts.
– Applying for loans or mortgages.
– Accessing existing bank accounts.
– Filing fraudulent tax returns.
– Obtaining medical services under someone else’s name.
– Committing crimes while impersonating the victim.

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Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar is a CMO at Prudour Pvt Ltd. Tajammul longstanding experience in the fields of mobile technology and industry research is often reflected in his insightful body of work. His interest lies in understanding tech trends, dissecting mobile applications, and raising general awareness of technical know-how. He frequently contributes to numerous industry-specific magazines and forums. When he’s not ruminating about various happenings in the tech world, he can usually be found indulging in his next favorite interest - table tennis.