Not as Safe as You Think: The Dangers of Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when a person’s financial or personal information is taken for the sole purpose of assuming that person’s identity in order to make transactions or purchases. Once a person’s identity is stolen, they may have difficulty removing errors from their credit report. It may also negatively impact their ability to get a job or obtain a loan. With 15 million cases of identity theft every year, everyone needs to be aware of the ways their identity can be stolen.

Millions of Identity Theft Cases Every Year!

In the USA alone, there are approximately 15 million identity fraud victims every year.
The states with the highest rate of identity theft complaints in 2015, per 100,000 victims, are:

  1. Missouri, 364.3
  2. Connecticut, 225
  3. Florida, 217.4
  4. Maryland, 183.2
  5. Illinois, 158.7

The states with the lowest rate of identity theft complaints in 2015, per 100,000 victims, are:

  1. South Dakota, 36.3
  2. Hawaii, 40.9
  3. North Dakota, 43.1
  4. Iowa, 48.5
  5. Nebraska, 48.6

Out of the estimated 17.6 million Americans who fell victim to identity theft in 2014 experienced:

  • Misuse of Existing Credit Card or Bank Account- 83%
  • Multiple Types of Identity Theft- 7%
  • Misuse of Personal Information- 4%

Identity Theft Can Happen to Anyone and Anywhere

Be aware….everywhere! Identity theft can happen in person and over social media, to young and old. It occurs in any industry and in extreme cases, it can happen six feet under.

  • Social Media Fraud: Consumers are putting themselves at a higher risk for identity theft as a result of their increasingly intimate social media behaviors– people are giving away far too much personal information on social networking sites, allowing for fraudsters to easily steal their identities.
  • College Students At Risk: College students are not as attentive to their banking accounts and private information, which buys the identity thief valuable time with your funds at hand. In a recent survey, 48% of students that participated admitted to leaving personal information out in their dorm rooms, some of which was financial in nature.
  • Grave Robbing: According to Time magazine, 2.5 million dead people get their identities stolen every year.

Cost of Identity Theft

Unfortunately, identity theft carries a heavier weight than just someone using your name. Identity theft can result in difficulty in applying for a credit card or a loan, getting a job, clearing negative information on records, or an inability to trust other people.

Identity theft can result in false debt, credit report errors, and even false employment/background reports.

Taking Your Life Back After Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing problem. It’s scary to think about how it may happen and what it can cost you. The consumer protection lawyers at Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. can help you take back control. They will work with you to fight back against credit reporting agencies and debt collectors that have false information about you due to your identity theft. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, call us at 1-877-735-8600 or fill out our online form for a free case review.