Identiry theft concept in word tag cloud isolated on white background

Identity Theft Trends

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that Identity theft has been the most reported consumer complaint in the United States for the past 16 years.

The 2016 Identity Fraud Study, Javelin Strategy & Research, found that $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016. The combined the past six years of identity theft amounts to over $107 billion stolen from us consumers.

The primary reasons that contribute to such large numbers of identity theft and identity fraud are business and consumer habits.


Data Breaches

Data breaches are more common, and losses are on the increase. Breaches hit a new record in 2016, rising to 1,093, up from 780 on 2015. The majority of the data breaches in 2016 affected the business sector, with 494 breaches or 45.2 percent of the total number of breaches. Medical/healthcare organizations were affected by 377 breaches (34.5 percent of total breaches). These are only the breaches that get reported. It might take a business years to know that they are compromised. In the Anthem Data Breach 80million customer medical record were lost to Identity Thieves. In 2016 the Yahoo data breach accounted for 1 billion customer records.

online shopper

Internet Transactions

Consumers are making more transactions online instead of going to retail stores. For example Inc.’s payment service nearly doubled the number of transactions it processed in 2016 from the previous year and mobile devices accounted for 32% Amazon transactions. Identity Thieves can hack devices remotely from any location in the world and compromise consumers Personal Identifiable Information (Pii).

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Social Media

In 2016, 78 percent of U.S. Americans had a social media profile, representing a five percent growth compared to the previous year. According to estimates, the number of worldwide social media users reached 1.96 billion and is expected to grow to some 2.5 billion by 2018.