Forgot Password?

Identity theft is a hot topic in the news due to recent data breaches, specifically Equifax. A data breach is when a company has the personal records of their clients or consumers stolen. This can be as simple as a name or as severe as a social security number. Data breaches are becoming more and more common, so how often does identity theft happen?

Identity Theft Statistics

Javelin Strategy and Research has publicly posted identity theft statistics dating back to 2012. These findings help paint a broad picture of the impact identity theft has in the US.

# of Individuals Impacted (Millions)
Stolen (Billions)
2017 16.7 $16.8
2016 15.4 $16.2
2015 13.1 $15.5
2014 12.7 $16.4
2013 13.1 $19.3
2012 12.6 $22.1


This information shows us that the number of individuals who are victimized by identity theft is increasing. With the increase in data breaches, this makes sense. However, the amount of money stolen per victim as decreased slightly. In 2012, victims had an average of $1,753.96 stolen, compared to $1,051.94 in 2016 and $1,005.98 in 2017.

While it is good to see that the amount stolen per victim has decreased, it’s the increase in total victims that is extremely concerning.

Most Common Types Of Identity Theft

There are 9 common forms of identity theft, but which ones are the most common? Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided this information.

Type Description Percentage
Employment/Tax Fraud Using stolen information to obtain a job or file a fraudulent tax return. 34%
Credit Card Fraud Stolen credit card information is used to make fraudulent purchases. 33%
Phone/Utilities Fraud Stolen information is used to open a cell phone or utilities account. 13%
Bank Fraud Personal information is stolen and used to open a bank account or take over an existing account. 12%
Loan/Lease Fraud Loans or leases obtained with stolen information. 7%
Gov’t Benefits Fraud Government benefits obtained via stolen information. 7%


You will notice that these percentages add up to more than 100%. This is due to the fact that the same claim can feature more than one type of fraud.

In order to learn to protect yourself, visit our news section for a wide variety of articles related to identity theft.

How often does identity theft happen? Now you have facts to provide you with an answer. Identity theft is becoming more and more common, so it requires more and more of your attention.

A Free Guide on How To Secure Your Identity & Protect Your Data