More Than 33 Americans Fall Victim to Identity Theft Every 60 Seconds
In frightening data released by the Justice Department, identity theft cases have gone up since 2012. According to BJS.gov, about 17.6 million Americans over 16 were reported to be victims of identity theft.
To put that in perspective, that’s one person every 1.8 seconds or a bit over 33 people per minute. While cases of thieves stealing the information and creating their own fraudulent accounts is down, stolen information is being used more than it was in 2012 to affect existing accounts. These existing accounts are primarily made up of credit card and bank accounts, usually leading to serious problems.
Out of those 17.6 million victims, about 2.64 million of them ended up losing more than $1,000 when it was all said and done. For most people that’s a considerable amount, but even smaller charges can add up and they tend to be even more difficult to recognize.
Taking at least a glance at your monthly bank or credit card statement can help identify signs of identity theft before it gets worse. Immediately notifying your bank or credit card company when you do spot fraud can keep you from being liable for damages.
Looking at your credit report at least once a month can help keep you from having your credit ruined and owing potentially tens of thousands of dollars, if identity thieves open new accounts under your name and/or use your SSN for employment. Credit Sesame offers you a copy of your credit report and your current credit score while you can get just your credit report at Annual Credit Report.