With the recent news about Target and Neiman Marcus getting their customer records hacked, we thought it was the right time to focus our blog on identity theft.
Today we present some important statistics about identity theft. As you read some of these frightening numbers, I hope you will take some extra time to consider what you and your family are doing to prevent yourselves from being victims.
Recent Identity Theft Statistics
Compiled from the FBI and U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics
· As many as 12 million Americans are victims of identity theft annually. That’s over 32,000 victims per day.
· About 15% of ID theft victims don’t find out for four years.
· 85% of incidents involved the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank information.
· Nearly $250 billion a year is lost by businesses who are victims of identity theft.
· 14% of victims experienced an out of pocket expense of >$1. About half of those experienced losses of more than $100.
· On average, a victim of identity theft will lose between $2,000 and $14,000; victims will subsequently spend an average of $851 to $1,400 in expenses related to their case.
· If 14% took losses of some sort, then 86% were victimized and had to have, at minimum, a new checking account and/or a debit or credit card re-issued for them. The costs of these replacements are generally born by the financial institution.
· Over 50% of victims have most of their issues solved after 24 hours. About 29% spend about a month resolving problems.
· The total average of time spent repairing the damages realized through identity theft is approximately 330 hours.
· 50% of identity theft victims experience trouble getting loans or credit cards as a result of identity theft.
· 20% of victims will experience higher credit card rates, while 16% of identity theft victims have higher insurances rates because of the theft.
· 72% of identity theft victims will have trouble resolving or terminating the negative information left on their credit reports or other information left on their personal records.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT
Step One: Contact the fraud department of the three major credit bureaus
· Experian (TRW) 888-397-3742
· TransUnion 800-680-7289
· Equifax 800-525-6285
Step Two: Contact the account issuer in question
· Ask for the fraud/security department of the compromised or fraudulent account issuer.
· Notify them by phone and in writing.
· Close all tampered or fraudulent accounts.
· Ask about replacement cards.
Step Three: Contact your local police department
· Notify the police department in the community where the identity theft occurred.
· Obtain copies of all police reports made.
Keep a detailed log of all contacts:
· Location called.
· Name of person(s) you spoke to.
· Title and call back number with extension.
- Ask and write down what the procedures are for that entity.
* * *
The Credit Myths Workshop provides you with information on the top ten myths of managing credit. Join us to bust some myths and catch up on the latest methods of managing and protecting your personal credit.
Our next FREE Credit Myths financial education workshop will take place:
January 22nd 6:30 pm
Meriwest Credit Union Main Office Training Room
5615 Chesbro Ave
San Jose CA 95123
To RSVP, please contact Greg Meyer at email@example.com or 408-365-6328