Identity Fraud: 12.6 Million Victims Last Year

Identity Fraud: 12.6 Million Victims Last Year

One in twenty Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2012.

According to the Identity Fraud Report released today by Javelin Strategy & Research, 12.6 million people in the United States or 5 percent of consumers were victims of ID theft. This was an increase of nearly one million people versus 2011 figures.

The cost of identity fraud also jumped significantly in 2012, totaling $21 billion, a $3 billion rise from a year ago.

The study showed that one in four consumers who receive a notice of a data breach later became an actual victim of identity fraud.

Social Security numbers, credit cards and online banking information were the most common items used by criminals in identity fraud.

A bright spot in the report is that when identity theft occurs, the information is being used by the thieves for a shorter period of time: an average of 48 days last year compared to 55 days in 2011.