79% of U.S. Citizens Concerned About Identity Theft Yet Just 12% Enrolled in An Identity Theft Protection Program

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Average Cost of Identity Theft is $4841 Per Person, typical Identity Theft Protection costs about $250 per year

“Beyond out of pocket costs, people have to spend a huge amount of time just regaining and reclaiming their identity.”

A November 2010 study revealed that 79% of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about identity theft, with 42% being very or extremely concerned. Yet, only 12% are enrolled in an identity theft protection program. Further analysis revealed that identity theft costs about $4841 per person violated, yet identity protection services cost around $250 per year. The results are part of the 2010 U.S. Consumer Study which surveyed 1,000 Americans on Identity Theft, commissioned by IdentityHawk and fielded by Survey Sampling International.*

The Cost

Further, Javelin Strategy & Research shows in its 2010 The Javelin Annual Identity Protection Services Scorecard that in 2009, 11.1 million people were victims of identity theft at a cost of $54 billion to businesses and individuals. On a per person basis, the cost is $4,841. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), in its 2009 Victim Aftermath Study, revealed the average out-of-pocket cost to the citizens who are identity theft victims is $527.

According to Phil Sandler, spokesperson for IdentityHawk, “Beyond out of pocket costs, people have to spend a huge amount of time just regaining and reclaiming their identity.”

According to The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), victims reported spending an average of 68 hours repairing the damage done by identity theft to an existing account used or taken over by the thief, and in cases where a new account, criminal, governmental or a combination of several situations were involved, respondents reported an average of 141 hours to clean up the fraud. Further reports indicate it can take 330 hours to restore a person’s identity.

The IdentityHawk study also revealed that 38 million U.S. citizens (or 12.5% of the population) claim they have been victims of identity theft in their lifetime.

Where Identity is Stolen

It was also reported in the 2010 The Javelin Annual Identity Protection Services Scorecard that most data breaches are not online, but rather from stolen/lost wallets:

Lost or stolen wallets: 43%
While conducting a transaction     : 19%
Friendly theft    : 13%
Online: 11%
Data breach: 11%
Stolen paper/mail 3%
Other: 1%

The IdentityHawk study revealed the most common precautions Americans take to prevent identity theft:

Action                    % of respondents
Always pick up receipts: 68%
Anti virus/Anti-spyware: 67%
Review bank/credit card statements: 66%
Shred mail with personal information: 56%
Pick strong passwords: 50%
Shred pre-approved offers: 49%
Carry only necessary ID: 45%
Use secure mailboxes: 32%
Don’t input personal info online: 22%
Don’t shop online: 15%
Enrolled in ID theft protection program: 12%

Added Sandler, “Clearly, while physical theft is the number one way people lose their identity, it takes a vigilant system to find unusual activity to uncover identity theft and fraud. Most people find out when it too late. People need immediate alerts when there is suspicious activity regarding their accounts,” he said.

About IdentityHawk

IdentityHawk helps consumers safeguard their assets, their properties, and their good names. Through its suite of protective benefits, IdentityHawk members can view the health of their identity protection, identify areas where they're most at risk, and take proactive steps to reduce those risks. IdentityHawk members receive instant e-mail or text alerts whenever a potential risk is uncovered. Whether it's the unauthorized use of a member's personal information or a data breach that could potentially affect a wide range of the general population, IdentityHawk informs its members about the latest threats to their identity as quickly as electronically possible.

All information that our members provide is protected by state-of-the-art SSL encryption safeguards. For more information, go to http://www.IdentityHawk.com

*The data for the U.S. Consumer Study on Identity Theft was collected through Survey Sampling International in Shelton, Connecticut. Results have a margin of error +/- 5%.

The articles and information available are for educational and reference purposes only. They do not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal or financial advice. Any legal or financial principles discussed here are for general information purposes only and may differ substantially in individual situations and/or in different states or countries. For specific legal or financial advice, please consult a licensed attorney or a financial professional. IdentityHawk does not control or guarantee the accuracy of any information provided through external links from the articles on this website to any other website, nor does the IdentityHawk privacy policy apply to any personal information that may be collected via the external links.


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Aaron Berger

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