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.