Survey Reveals 38 Million Americans Claim Identity Theft in Their Lifetime

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - Norwalk, CT

A November 2010 study revealed that one in five households in America include a resident who's been victimized by identity theft. And 12.5% of the population — 38 million American consumers — claim to have been a victim of ID theft at some point in their lives. The results are part of the 2010 U.S. Consumer Study on Identity Theft, commissioned by IdentityHawk® and conducted by Survey Sampling International.*

While 38 million U.S. citizens claim to have been victimized in their lifetime, research from Javelin Strategy & Research shows that 11.1 million Americans say they were ID theft victims in 2009.

The IdentityHawk® study also revealed that better-educated consumers, as well as those who are married, living with a partner, divorced, or widowed, were more likely to have been a victim of identity theft. The results are as follows:

  • Education level/victims of identity theft:
    - high school or less 9% of respondents
    - some college/college 15% of respondents
  • Marital status/victims of identity theft
    - single 10% of respondents
    - married/living with partner 13% of respondents
    - divorced/widowed 16% of respondents

The Javelin Annual Identity Protection Services Scorecard also shows a steady increase in identity theft since 2007, when 8.1 million people were victimized. That figure rose to 9.9 million in 2008, to according to the Javelin results released in a published report: www.pymnts.com

Findings:  
Issue Number
Ever been a victim of identity theft (IdentityHawk®) 12.5% "Yes" (38 million people)
Victim in past year (2007) 8.1 million
Victim in past year (2008) 9.9 million
Victim in past year (2009)

11.1 million

According to Phil Sandler, spokesman for IdentityHawk.com, “We are seeing a steady recent increase in identity theft. It suggests that consumers need more preventative and predictive measures rather than just being able to take action after their identity has been breached. Further, we believe that the incident of identity theft is actually under-reported.”

An FTC report confirms Sandler’s premise of under-reported incidences. According to the  FTC 2008 Consumer Sentinel Report, 65 percent of those who reported identity theft to the FTC did not report the crime to their local law enforcement agencies.

*The data for the U.S. Consumer Study on Identity Theft were collected through Survey Sampling International in Shelton, Connecticut. Results have a margin of error of +/- 5%.

About IdentityHawk®
IdentityHawk® help consumers safeguard their assets, their properties, and their good names. Through its suite of protective benefits, IdentityHawk® members can view the health of their identity protection, identify areas where they're most at risk, and take proactive steps to reduce those risks. IdentityHawk® members receive instant e-mail or text alerts whenever a potential risk is uncovered. Whether it's the unauthorized use of a member's personal information or a data breach that could potentially affect a wide range of the general population, IdentityHawk® informs its members about the latest threats to their identity as quickly as electronically possible. All information that our members provide is protected by state-of-the-art SSL encryption safeguards. For more information, go to  www.identityhawk.com.

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