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Becoming a victim of identity theft can affect you in many more ways than you might expect. Aside from the financial toll that we often think of with identity theft, there are three additional aspects of your life that could take a hit. The lasting effects of identity theft often can’t be seen right away and can be felt for years. In this article, we will outline the four aspects of your life that can be affected by identity theft.

Financial Burden

When we think about identity theft, we often think about bank accounts being compromised or credit cards opened in your name. These are common occurrences, but there are other ways you may become a victim financially.

  • A criminal can file a bogus tax return using your information.
  • Your Social Security number can be used by a thief, to obtain work, and their income can show on your file.
  • You could have financial accounts taken over which could affect any number of financial aspects of your life.
  • In complex identity theft cases, you may require legal assistance. Adding legal fees to your plate can take an extreme financial toll.

The average identity theft case will cost the victim $1,343. With this being the average, you can imagine how much extreme cases can set a victim back.

Time Spent

One of the most overlooked aspects of identity theft recovery is how much time can be spent to fully recover one’s identity. The average identity theft recovery takes 6 months and 200 hours of work.

When your identity is stolen, you’ve got to search all aspects of your personal and financial life in order to detect fraudulent activity. Once you’ve done this, you’ve got to take the steps to remediate the issues. All of this will take time. Some examples of what victims have to do following an identity theft:

  • Closing and re-opening compromised bank accounts.
  • Reporting identity theft with the three credit bureaus and working to have fraudulent activity removed from your credit report.
  • Working with the IRS should you become a victim of tax identity fraud.

Emotional Burden

A 2016 survey by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), provides some statistics on the emotional toll that identity theft victims go through:

  • 74% reported being stressed.
  • 60% reported feeling anxiety.
  • 69% reported fear for their financial safety.
  • 8% reported feeling suicidal.

Stress is one of the most damaging things a person can endure. Stress will affect almost every aspect of your life. The burden of not knowing how your family’s financial future will play out can lead to some serious emotional issues.

Physical Toll

The addition of stress can also add a variety of serious physical issues in addition to emotional ones. The ITRC survey we referenced earlier also lists some physical effects of identity theft:

  • 29% reported new ailments, including sweating, body pain, heart and stomach issues.
  • 41% reported sleep issues.
  • 10% couldn’t report to work due to physical issues.

When you become a victim of identity theft, you may have your entire world turned upside down. The lasting effects of identity theft will be different for each person, but they can cause some serious damage. The faster you can identify identity theft, the easier it will be to reverse what has already been done.


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