In today’s digital world, identity theft is a fact of life. The most obvious cost of identity theft that victims encounter is financial loss. According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s most recent study, 17.6 million people in the US experience some form of identity theft each year. This includes activities such as fraudulent credit card transactions or personal information being used to open unauthorized accounts. Furthermore, the study found that victims experienced a combined average loss of $1,343. In total, identity theft victims lost a whopping $15.4 billion in 2014.
However, the costs of identity theft extend beyond financial loss. It can take a significant emotional toll on victims. A survey from the Identity Theft Research Center found that half of respondents felt powerless, and a large majority felt fear for their personal financial security (69%) and rage/anger (65%) when dealing with this crime. Sleep disruption was also a cited issue (40%). According to the survey, these feelings increased over time when the victim was unable to resolve the identity theft event on their own.
Clearly, the consequences of identity theft are far reaching. Luckily, consumers are getting smarter about how to help mitigate their risk of identity theft, like using and identity monitoring service or staying abreast on security best practices. How are you arming yourself in the fight against identity thieves? Stay tuned on our blog for more tips and tricks to help keep your identity secure.