20 Identity Theft Statistics That Will Shock You in 2022

Christo Petrov
Christo Petrov

Updated · Nov 26, 2022

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Identity theft is a rapidly expanding issue in the United States and the rest of the world. We have compiled a list of identity theft statistics in an attempt to understand this growing problem. Many of the figures listed below will undoubtedly be alarming and discouraging to any security-minded individual.

Startling Identity Theft Statistics

  • Identity fraud scams affected 42 million American adults in 2021.
  • In 2018, 14.4 million people fell victims to fraud.
  • Account takeovers tallied up over $2 billion in losses in 2017.
  • 15 million Americans were victims of traditional ID theft in 2021.
  • The average monetary cost of identity fraud is $263 per person affected.
  • 33% of adults admit to sharing their login credentials with others.
  • Global credit card fraud losses will reach $45 billion by 2026.
  • Child-related identity theft losses amount to $918 million.
  • The yearly total cost of identity theft is above $16 billion.
  • There were 889 million breaches involving sensitive information in 2021 alone.
  • The identity theft protection market will grow by a CAGR of 13.7% between 2022 and 2029.

The first step in resolving any issue is understanding, so we hope that this list of identity theft facts and statistics will help give all readers a greater understanding of the issue and the role it is currently playing in the world.

General Stats

Welcome to the scary world of identity theft. Here are the facts.

1. In the United States, someone falls victim to identity theft every two seconds.

(Source: Fierce Electronics)

In less time than it will take to unlock your phone, take a deep breath, or open a door - an identity thief will strike. As far as identity theft trends go, this is one of the easiest to grasp in real-world terms.

(Source: Javelin)

Javelin's latest identity theft report shows that fraud scams resulting from ID theft impacted 27 million consumers. The criminal activity led to losses of $28 billion.

3. In 2021, traditional identity theft affected 15 million Americans.

(Source: Javelin)

Statistics on identity theft show that 15 million Americans were victims of conventional identity theft in 2021. After a 50% increase from the previous year, it led to $24 billion in losses.

4. About 10% of all Americans over the age of 16 reported that they had been victims of identity theft.

(Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)

This is just another visualization of the stat above it. The number is expected to be even greater given the unknown amount of unreported victims of identity theft.

There is likely a large number of people who have had their identity compromised and are not aware of the breach yet. This makes it more difficult to know exactly how many people are affected by identity theft.

Reports generally come out when someone identifies the breach either through attempted or already performed fraud.

5. 61% of identity theft complaints come from those between the ages of 30 and 59.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission)

There is a variety of reasons to explain why this age range has become a primary target for identity thieves. Proper security practices have to be learned and re-learned consistently to ensure proper safety.

I can’t imagine it a stretch to say that this age range consists of people that are less likely to actively re-learn the best internet and data security principles or be aware of internet identity theft statistics.

Consumer Stats

If you ever did anything online, chances are you exposed your credentials. And that's how identity theft happens.

6. 87% of consumers have left their personal information exposed while accessing email, bank accounts or other financial information.

(Source: Symantec)

Data privacy, specifically over unsecured networks, is a tremendous issue. This can be mitigated by using a VPN, but many have not yet realized the value VPNs offer by way of privacy and protection. Most people don’t understand the risks of accessing sensitive information over public Wi-Fi networks. Online identity theft statistics unforgivingly indicate this to be a major issue.

7. 33% of adults admit to sharing their login credentials with others.

(Source: Experian)

Who isn’t guilty of sharing login credentials? Personally, I don’t have a clue which of my friends are still leeching my Netflix. As innocuous as this may seem, it can create much larger issues.

The credentials can get into the wrong hands. Being that careless with personal data is a significant contributor to the rising identity theft rate. Most people are aware it is risky to recycle passwords. However, many use the same password again and again, because they don’t want to forget them.

If you’re in that majority, stealing your Netflix password might mean having access to a variety of other accounts you may have.

8. 82% of consumers fail to enroll in credit monitoring or identity theft protection services.

(Source: Experian)

The best way to fix any problem is to stop it from happening in the first place. Easier said than done. Ideally, everyone should take preventative measures to lessen or remove the risk of identity theft. Number of antivirus services provide identity theft protection. This is a great place to start. If you need more motivation, just have a look at the recent identity theft cases.

9. 25% of consumers reported that they had shared their payment information or bank PIN number.

(Source: Experian)

I’m sure many of these occurrences came with the justification of, “Oh, what’s the harm?”. Of course, this stat doesn’t suggest that a fourth of consumers have had their identity stolen because of this.

It only means they’ve made themselves needlessly vulnerable against that kind of threat. There may be no harm in doing this, but it is irresponsible and completely avoidable.

If these identity theft stats haven’t provided enough of a reason for caution, I can’t imagine what would.

10. 75% of consumers do not use a VPN to protect their WiFi connection.

(Source: Symantec)

Despite the proven and immediate benefits, an overwhelming amount of consumers are unaware of how a VPN can protect them. A good VPN will protect all data sent to and from your computer. This could even mitigate the need for identity theft software or other extraneous products.

Identity Theft Cost Statistics

Identity theft is a multi-billion problem. It can cost a lifetime of savings for certain users.

11. By 2026, credit card fraud losses will be $43 billion.

(Source: CB 911)

This type of theft will almost double in the next few years compared to 2021 when merchants and banks lost about $31 billion. That figure will climb by $12 billion in the next four years.

12. The global identity protection segment will experience a 13.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2029.

(Source: Fortune Business Insights)

Throughout the pandemic, the ID protection field continued to experience higher demand than usual. In 2022, the segment will be worth $11.39 billion. 

According to identity theft predictions, that will double in 2029 to nearly $28 billion.

13. Victims of identity theft will, on average, spend over 330 hours and $1,000 attempting to clear their name.

(Source: Identity Hawk)

The shocking aspect here isn’t the monetary value, but the time spent solving the issue. Clearing one’s name is a stressful process that can take quite a while to deal with fully. Hopefully, these identity theft numbers will wake you up to the necessity of taking measures to protect yourself.

14. Child ID theft costs are almost hitting $1 billion.

(Source: AARP)

Identity theft numbers involving children are shocking. On average, one in 50 kids was a victim of identity thieves last year. The result was a loss of $737 per family on average. 

Social media is the biggest culprit in aiding online criminals to gather your child’s data. It happens when you divulge data like their full names, date of birth, where they go to school, etc. Cyber thugs can easily piece together the information you post over time and create credit card accounts.

15. CNP Fraud, or “Card-Not-Present” Fraud, accounted for over $242 million in losses in 2016. A Juniper Research report suggested that the losses will reach $130 billion between 2018 and 2023.

(Source: Australian Payment Network, Juniper Research)

Yet another staggering number in our list of identity theft stats that illustrates the compounding effect of poor security. This is a particularly difficult form of fraud to combat as it happens when credit card data gets processed by a thief without ever touching the physical card.

Biggest Identity Theft Stats

The numbers may surprise you.

16. Nearly 60 million Americans were affected by identity theft in 2017 alone.

(Source: Panda Security)

This is not a pleasant topic to talk about, especially in person. How common is identity theft among the people we know?

Well, this stat basically says a little under one-sixth of Americans were affected by identity theft in 2017. You wouldn’t have to look very far to find a friend or colleague affected. Identity theft statistics worldwide paint a similar picture.

17. The yearly total cost of identity theft is above $16 billion.

(Source: Insurance Information Institute)

Identity theft is a criminal industry within itself. It wouldn’t be surprising to see an enterprising young individual from Palo Alto see this figure and begin to market it as the “next big industry”.

Jokes aside, this criminal activity creates a real burden on our society and our economy. Real, tangible steps need to be taken to lessen the impact it will have in the future.

18. In 2021, there were 889 million sensitive records leaked.

(Source: Helpnetsecurity)

2021 had almost 1900 personal data compromises affecting over 150 million individuals. That number rose by nearly 70% since 2020. External actors carried out over 90% of the incidents.

19. It took about 122 days to resolve a breach in 2021.

(Source: Helpnetsecurity)

Criminal identity theft statistics show that it takes about three months to contain incidents involving sensitive data on average. That’s twice the time security experts require to deal with non-sensitive information exposure.

20. Synthetic Identity Fraud cost banks $6 billion in 2016.

(Source: Panda Security)

Synthetic identity theft is a clever form of fraud, in which a criminal combine real (read: stolen) and fake information in order to create accounts and make purchases.

This trend is growing rapidly and creating larger issues for the safety of children’s identity. When the effort is well-coordinated, it is particularly difficult to track down the perpetrator.

Conclusion

Identity theft statistics show the issue will be increasingly important as time goes on. Understanding the threat and what measures you can take for protection is invaluable, especially in high tech society we live in. I hope this has given you a broader understanding of the topic and how it is affecting the world. 

To keep your identity safe, you might want to consider getting ID theft protection.

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Christo Petrov

Christo Petrov

Christo knows very well how tech has revolutionized the way we live, communicate, and create value. TechJury is his way to help users find detailed, unbiased information about all aspects of technology, the glorious opportunities it presents, the threats it poses, and the ways to stay safe in the modern world.

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