Bureau of Justice Says Identity Theft Rose 33% From 2005-2010


An estimated 8.6 million households had at least one person age 12 or older who experienced identity theft victimization in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics.

This was an increase from the 6.4 million households victimized in 2005.

Here are some more interesting stats, based on data from the latest National Crime Victimization Survey:

  • The number of households experiencing the misuse of an existing credit card rose from about 3.6 million in 2005 to 5.5 million in 2010.
  • The percentage of victimized households (about 35%) experiencing the misuse of an existing account other than a credit card—such as a banking, savings or utility account—was unchanged from 2005 to 2010.
  • The misuse of personal information to open a new account represented nearly 30% of the total direct financial loss, although fewer than 10% of victimized households experienced this type of identity theft. These households lost on average nearly $13,200.
  • The misuse of existing credit cards accounted for 32% of the total financial loss while this type of identity theft represented 54% of such victimizations overall.

It’s this last point that is perhaps the most important when it comes to preventing identity theft.

After all, when consumers access their favorite shopping sites in a wireless network — at Starbucks, a hotel, or an airport, for example — and then enter their credit card data to make a purchase, anyone can access those credit card details to commit financial fraud.

That’s why it’s so important to use a personal VPN like PRIVATE WiFi in wireless hotspots — it encrypts and protects highly sensitive personal details and “locks out” hackers and thieves.

Get Private Wifi   Protect your personal information.
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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.