Identity theft statistics show that the crime is on the rise. In 2012, there were 385,000 new cases, while in 2013, the number is expected to be 500,000. With such a leap in growth and so many of us doing our transactions online, it is only prudent to arm ourselves with information. One of the things we ought to explore is how identity theft affects us, financially and emotionally.
Identity theft statistics show that most consumers still believe it will never happen to them.
Although many people who have not been victims find it hard to connect it with disturbing effects, victims describe the experience as one that takes them a long time to come to terms with.
Statistics also show that the average victim loses about $8,000 by the time they are able to detect the fraud and stop it. The industry itself is estimated at 5 billion. This is a staggering figure especially if you consider that it is ongoing and growing.
Not all victims of identity theft lose money, but most do. Once the scammer has credit card details, they can do any kind of transaction that they want. To stay under the radar, they make small purchases be – larger purchases might mean that they go past the limit and this would raise alarm. This means that they can buy numerous small items for a long time and you would never know.
The average time that it takes to straighten out the mess is on average 175 hours over a period of two years. The problem is that usually, the police are unwilling to co-operate. In some states, the police won’t even allow you to record a statement about the identity theft – they don’t consider it a crime as they do more physical crimes.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the credit issuer may be unwilling to co-operate. Identity theft statistics show that very few of them even report the matter to the police. From their point of view, the theft has already happened, they have lost money and there is not much they can do. For them, the way to deal with it is to make their systems scammer-proof.
That leaves you alone to deal with the financial loss. If you don’t have identity theft insurance, you can be looking at serious losses that can as well affect your credit report. Just covering the hole that has been created takes time. If they amounts concerned add up to something significant, it could affect your credit report which brings us to the next problem.
When you have been a victim and you approach the credit bureaus so that they can remove the false negative items on your credit report, they are not always very co-operative. It is hard enough to get them to fix the errors that they made; an error like this, if you don’t have the right documentation to support it, can take months.
That is why it is recommended that immediately you detect a breach, you start a log that records which creditors you called, who you spoke to and also who you spoke to when you called the credit report bureau. They will also want to see a signed police statement showing that you reported the crime. That means that you have to take time out to get this document.
Identity theft statistics also show that people report emotional scarring, and many say that it is the level of exposure that gives them the stress. Knowing that someone is out there impersonating you is not easy to deal with.
Most consumers don’t know how easy it is for scammers to impersonate them.
In addition to that, because they have your credit card details, you don’t know when they will strike next. That is why you are advised to close the account and cancel the card immediately.
Many victims say that they did this, but they still felt very vulnerable because they didn’t know what other information the scammer may have and how they can use it against you. Some of them report that they feel very emotional for a period, like they want to burst into tears all the time.Identity theft statistics: What are some of the solutions victims can employ to recover from identity theft?
The way to protect yourself against identity theft is to be cautious and to have identity theft insurance. Being cautious involves you not leaving your personal details lying around where other people can find them.
You must also dispose of personal documents by shredding them. Scammers dig through dustbins to find personal information. Identity theft statistics show that a large number of victims, when they think back, can usually remember throwing out personal information with the trash.
Change your passwords and your pins at least once every 3 months and don’t make them easy to crack; don’t use number sequences that are easy to come up with and don’t use passwords that are the name of your pet or your child.Identity theft statistics: Is identity theft insurance worth it for victims of ID theft?
Having the best credit monitoring service in place can help protect you in case the theft does occur. Identity theft statistics show that this is really the highest level of protection you have against identity theft, and it is worth the monthly premiums that you pay if you find a good plan. If you think this is something that would benefit you, try looking into a company like IdentityGuard.com for help.