What You Need to Know:
Some analysts estimate that you’re four times more likely to be killed by hornets, wasps, or bees than to have a winning lottery ticket. Others have noted that you’d have a better chance of falling out of bed (2 million to 1), getting struck by lightning (1.2 million to 1), or drawing a royal flush in the first hand of poker (649,739 to 1). By comparison, your odds of winning the lottery average about 300 million to 1.
If only those were the same odds as becoming a victim of identity theft.
Unfortunately, even though people may think this type of criminal activity is somewhat rare, identity theft statistics show that your chances of being affected might be much higher than you think. This is especially true if you’re in a high-risk group, like those affected by data breaches or living in certain states.
Identity Theft By the Numbers
Consider these identity theft statistics:
- Consumers filed 2.2 million fraud reports last year, accounting for $3.3 billion in losses
- 47% of Americans experienced financial identity theft in 2020
- 9 in 10 Americans encountered a fraud attempt in the past year
- 1 in 6 people (33 million Americans) lost money to a scam last year
- Seniors over 60 years old are the most common victims of identity theft
- 3 in 10 victims of identity theft have experienced it more than once
- 1 in 50 children is affected by child identity fraud, which costs U.S. families nearly $1 billion each year
- Millennials account for 44% of U.S. identity fraud reports
- There’s a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds
- 118.6 million individuals had their records exposed in data breaches during the first half of 2021
- Consumers lost more than $56 billion to identity theft and fraud in 2020
- Taxpayers lost over $200 billion to unemployment identity theft and COVID-19 relief fraud since March 2020
- Consumers reported over $588 million lost to coronavirus scams and identity fraud since January 2020
- 1 in 3 consumers was recently targeted for digital fraud related to COVID-19
- 54% of victims of unemployment and stimulus identity fraud in 2020 report more stress and feeling violated
In other words, if your chances of winning the lottery were 1 in 20 – the odds of being an ID theft victim – we’d all have family, friends, and colleagues who are millionaires.
Changing the Odds of Identity Theft
Although we can’t help you secure a future Powerball prize, we can offer some thoughts on tipping the odds in your favor when it comes to identity theft statistics.
Some good prevention tactics include changing passwords regularly to avoid credential stuffing and other account takeover fraud methods, being cautious when putting personal information on social media, and checking your bank and credit accounts frequently to spot fraudulent transactions. The more proactive monitoring, the better, including monitoring credit reports and credit score changes, so you are aware of any changes or discrepancies that don’t make sense. Staying vigilant if your personally identifiable information (PII) appears on the Dark Web is also critical.
Another helpful addition to your protection strategies is having an identity monitoring service like IdentityForce, which continuously monitors for suspicious activity, provides alerts, and offers white-glove restoration and assistance with a $1 million identity theft insurance recovery policy if needed. No one wants to be the next identity theft victim, so put some tactics into place now to improve your odds.