Identity theft has turned out to be a severe problem worldwide, affecting hundreds and thousands of people every year. The crime gets worse when the thieves behind this have access to modern technology which makes it easier for them to extract your information without your knowledge. Identity theft statistics of 2012 shows that high percentage involves the misuse of your personal information for an illicit purpose. Most people are under the impression that identity theft may never happen to them, however this is not true. Identity thieves now are getting smarter and have all the relevant means to use your personal information against you. The identity theft statistics of 2012 and 2013 reveal that the theft has grown rapidly and is starting to get out of control. In 2012 alone, the identity fraud is estimated to have increased by 8%.
According to a survey conducted by the United States Department of Justice, it was concluded that 7% of all households in the United States had one member who had been a victim of identity theft is some manner or the other. This means that the odds are highly against you. Households aside, identity theft leaves an impact on governments and businesses as well. It was observed that 64.1% of these frauds have occurred as a result of stolen or misplaced credit cards which were then used for purchases.
Leave alone the alive, the dead are also at risk of identity theft. Hard to believe but true. Approximately 2.5 million dead people have their identities stolen every year. The information of the deceased is then used to open new bank accounts and subscribe to phone services. Unfortunately, the social security numbers of 106 million dead people are also being used. This can be very distressing for family members of the deceased who are care takers of their estates. It is estimated that above 2000 corpses are victimized daily with regard to identity theft.
Social media is another means that most fraudsters use for identity theft. With the increasing trend of Facebook and Twitter profiles, people reveal minor information which can then be used to steal their identity. According to the trends observed, birthdays, names of high school attended, pet’s names, phone number etc. are more conveniently revealed by most users on social networks. Although this information has nothing to do with important statements or your financials, but people tend to use these as their passwords. In this manner people are giving away too much information thereby giving the thieves an excellent opportunity to victimize them.
Research has shown that college students are found to be terrorized by this theft most frequently. Since students live in dorms they are most likely to leave behind information when they are out taking classes. This makes it easier for thieves to have their information without them knowing about it. In addition to this, college students do not generally subscribe to security programs or check their bank activity regularly which is why they are attacked by fraudsters in a frequent fashion.
Furthermore, children have often been the targets for identity theft. As per identity theft statistics of 2013 they are affected 35 times more than adults. 7% of smart phone owners have also fallen trap to this theft and their incident rate is 33% higher than the general public. Overall, the statistics show that every three seconds someone loses their identity.