Gov’t: 1 in 14 fell prey to identity theft in 2012(from AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says 1 out of every 14 Americans age 16 or older was a target or a victim of identity theft, a crime imposing a heavy emotional toll on many of its victims. This comes from a national survey of 70,000 people, issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. ID theft resulted in $24.7 billion in financial losses last year. The crime affected 16.6 million people and fell most heavily on households with annual incomes of $75,000 or more. In that income bracket, 10 percent of such households were victimized.
Here are some scary statistics:
- Two-thirds of identity theft victims experienced financial losses, which averaged $1,769.
- 47% of victims who spent six months or more resolving the financial and credit problems, experienced severe emotional distress, compared with 4% who spent a day or less resolving the problems.
- Less than 10% of victims bought identity theft protection.
Theft involving existing credit cards and bank accounts made up for the vast majority of the 16.6 million victims.
Some 7.7 million victims reported the fraudulent use of a credit card, and 7.5 million reported the fraudulent use of a bank account such as a debit card, checking account or savings.
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