Identity theft is when someone steals your Personal Identifiable Information and uses it for criminal activity. It’s one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.
Just how common is identity theft in the US? The answer: common indeed. It’s increased by over 400% since 2010 and has led to over $3.3 billion in losses since then. In 2019, there were 650,523 reported identity thefts, but in 2020, there were a whopping 1,387,615 reported cases.
The numbers skyrocketed again from 2020 to 2021. The amount stolen rose 79% year over year with over 42 million Americans duped out of over $52 billion in total losses.
Even worse, the reality is that these numbers will likely only grow in 2022 and 2023. Why? Because data breaches are happening with more frequency, and there’s a direct correlation between data breaches and cases of theft.
The different types of identity theft
Here are the most common types of identity theft.
- Synthetic identity theft – This is when an online thief steals someone’s Social Security number and attaches it to a new name, DOB, and other personal info. It essentially creates a new, fictitious person, and is one of the most common types of ID theft.
- New account fraud – This is when new credit card, utility, cell phone and other accounts are created using someone’s personal info. Thieves also use children’s stolen personal info for this type of fraud, which often goes undetected for a long time because kids don’t typically start building credit until they reach 18.
- Account takeover fraud – This refers to when a thief steals a victim’s account login info and uses it to access the account, posing as the authorized user. They often make changes to the account or request a new card. It’s a very difficult type of fraud to detect with standard credit monitoring.
- Medical identity theft – This type of fraud doesn’t get as much attention as the others, but it’s a major invasion of privacy. Thieves use stolen personal info to fill prescriptions and get medical treatment. This can impact victims’ medical files and medical history. Worse case, medical treatment decisions could be made based on false information and could lead to medical harm.
- Business identity theft – When thieves use someone else’s business name to fraudulently bill clients or try to get credit. With this type of theft, culprits usually either know the business owner or worked for them.
Will identity theft become more common in 2023?
According to the National Council On Identity Theft Protection, almost 33% of Americans have experienced an identity theft attempt. Experts indicate that this number could increase this year and again in 2023 because theft methods are getting more and more sophisticated.
Protecting yourself and your family has never been more important.
IDShield can help
The most important step you can take when it comes to protecting yourself is to safeguard your Social Security number and other Personal Identifiable Information. Getting identity theft protection from a world-class service, like IDShield, is truly the most effective way to battle online thieves. Don’t become another statistic or horror story.
IDShield offers best-in-class personal data monitoring, Social Security number monitoring, credit monitoring and privacy and reputation management and takes pride in its highly qualified team of professionals, including Licensed Private Investigators, who will help you should an identity theft event occur.
Sign up today for either 1 or 3 credit bureau monitoring plus one-on-one consultation. IDShield offers a free trial, so there’s no risk. It’s your all-inclusive solution to identity protection, credit monitoring, reputation management and identity restoration.
IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”). PPLSI provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. For complete terms, coverage, and conditions, please see an identity theft plan. All Licensed Private Investigators are licensed in the state of Oklahoma. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.