Every two seconds, thirty times a minute, 24/7 every day of the year. That stunning number indicates just how fierce the war over identity theft is. In spite of billions of dollars in efforts to stop thieves and their criminal operations, a report from Javelin Strategy shows the casualty rates are climbing annually. Let’s review the reality of 2014 identity fraud statistics and what it means for consumers and businesses.
While we get numbed to statistics, these numbers mean that 13.1 million people had their lives interrupted in 2013, an interruption that means thousands of lost dollars, hundreds of lost hours, and an incredible level of anger and frustration. These latest stats show that the thefts are a threat with alarming ramifications. The Target breach alone exposed more than 40 million individuals to the potential of misuse of their personal information. The Heartbleed bug has been dubbed on the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen, according to Mashable. Then it was dwarfed by the 1.2 billion passwords stolen by Russian hackers that recently hit headlines.
2014 Identity Fraud Statistics: The #1 Problem
In another timely report, the Federal Trade Commission lists the top consumer complaints nationally. You guessed it… identity theft was the number one reported issue. According to this analysis, at least $1.6 billion was lost to fraud in 2013, far more than to other forms of theft and robberies. The National Criminal Justice Reference Service lists the sources of theft that include:
- Government documents and benefits – 34 percent
- Credit cards – 17 percent
- Phone and utility accounts – 14 percent
- Bank fraud – 8 percent
Additionally, the report notes segments of the population particularly vulnerable to identity theft:
- Children. They receive new social security numbers that are actually recycled. Parents may not be monitoring their infant’s credit reports.
- Seniors. Discomfort with online banking can make this population are prime target. Theft of mail, including bank statements, credit card bills and pension checks have a wealth of information that could be used in fraud.
- Veterans. Good benefits and forms like DD214 (contains sensitive info for third-party benefits) make vets a lucrative target.
Constant Vigilance is Essential
Many of our team members learned the importance of constant vigilance while serving in the military or law enforcement agencies. They now take pride in assisting our clients understand and implement regular shredding as a way to combat identity theft — for both individuals and businesses throughout Southern California.
Our goal is to provide you with reliable weapon to ensure the security of your personal or company’s records (which includes confidential information about employees, customers and vendors). We help simplify your life by providing simple and secure answersto your document management and destruction needs. Give us a call to discuss how we can help.
The 2014 Identity Fraud Statistics are truly alarming. Are you surprised at how big this issue has become?