Identity Theft Facts and Figures

More than 10 million Americans are victimized by identity theft every year, according to a study conducted by the identity Theft Resource Center in 2003 and 2004. A statistical analysis on identity theft, The Aftermath Study was created by the group to further determine ways to combat the crime.

Discovery - According to The Aftermath Study, once an individual's identity is victimized, 38 to 48 percent of the victims discover the crime three months after the initial theft. Nine to eighteen percent discover the crime after four more years.

Financial Cost - Victims of identity theft lose an average of $1,182 to $14,340 in lost wages while dealing with identity theft, and $851 to $1,378 in court case expenses, according to The Aftermath Study. And according to the Aberdeen Group, $221 billion is lost by worldwide businesses due to identity theft.

Recovery - Once victimized by identity theft, individuals spend an average of 330 hours recovering their identity. According to The Aftermath Study, the post-identity theft recovery time can last as few as three hours and up to 5,840 hours. The range of time per person depends on the severity of the identity crime, which varies from a missing credit card to social security card fraud. Twenty-six percent to 32 percent of identity theft victims spend four to six months in the recovery process, while 11 percent to 23 percent reported seven months to a year of recovery.

Types of Identity Theft - The Aftermath Study found that 33 percent of identity theft victims were victimized by checking account fraud, 66 percent were victimized by an illegal credit card opened in the criminal's name, 28 percent by a criminal using their information to buy cell phone service and 12 percent by the criminal accruing financial warrants in the victim's name.

Identity Thieves - Forty-three percent of identity theft victims claim they know who stole their identity, according to The AftermathStudy. Fourteen percent to 25 percent of victims reported that the person who stole their identity obtained their info from a business that held the info, and 16 percent of identity theft victims were victimized by the same person in additional ways, such as domestic violence. In cases of a child's identity being stolen, the most common perpetrator waas the child's parent.

Recovery Statistics - A staggering number of people, 70 percent according to The Aftermath Study, do not recover from the negitive information in their records caused by identity theft, with more than 47 percent of victims having trouble getting a loan after the theft.

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