**Originally published January 2, 2018. Updated July 2, 2020.**
Some analysts estimate that you’re four times more likely to be killed by an asteroid than to have a winning Powerball ticket. Others noted that you’d have a better chance of becoming president, getting struck by lightning or winning an Olympic gold medal. In fact, to win any lottery often involves dismal chances, averaging about 1 in 100 million.
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.
By the Numbers
Consider these identity theft statistics:
- In 2019, 14.4 million consumers became victims of identity fraud — that’s about 1 in 15 people
- Overall, 33 percent of U.S. adults have experienced identity theft, which is more than twice the global average
- One in five victims of identity theft have experienced it more than once
- Over 1 million children in the U.S. were victims of identity theft in 2017, costing families $540 million in out-of-pocket expenses
- There’s a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds
- Identity theft is the most common consequence of a data breach, occurring 65% of the time
- There were 146 million exposed records in 2019, and data breaches increased by 17%
- Consumers lost more than $1.9 billion to identity theft and fraud in 2019
- Emotional distress is reported by 77.3 percent of identity theft victims
In other words, if your chances of winning the lottery were 1 in 15, as are the odds of being an ID theft victim, we’d all have family, friends, and colleagues who are millionaires.
Changing the Odds
Although we can’t help you secure a future Powerball prize, we can offer some thoughts on changing your odds when it comes to identity theft statistics.
Some good prevention tactics include changing passwords regularly, 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 a 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 better your odds.
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