Identity theft is a huge problem in the United States. In fact, the number of identity theft cases increases every year, meaning that more Americans are vulnerable to this illicit practice than ever before. And to make matters worse, when it comes to identity theft, everyone is a potential victim. In this article, we examine four surprising identity theft facts you need to know.
#1: Identity Theft Often Originates at Work
The tactics used by identity thieves have changed in recent years, particularly when it comes to choosing their targets. Although identity thieves still target private individuals, they are increasingly focusing on employers. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 50 percent of identity theft now originates at the workplace. One reason for this is that businesses obtain and store a large amount of personal data on their employees, including addresses, Social Security numbers, and other personal details. Unfortunately, this makes the workplace a prime target for identity thieves.
#2: Identity Thieves Don’t Just Target the Rich
A common misconception regarding identity theft is that identity thieves only target the rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however. In reality, identity theft affects people of all income levels. For example, in 2016, around 40 percent of all identity theft victims had a household income of under $25,000.
#3: Age Doesn’t Matter to Identity Thieves
Identity thieves aren’t picky when it comes to age. Although most identity theft cases involve victims between the ages of 18 and 49, identity thieves routinely target people that fall outside of this age range. In fact, more than one million of the approximately 17 million Americans who had their identities stolen in 2017 were children.
#4: Identity Theft Puts More Than Victims’ Finances at Risk
Although identity theft has serious financial ramifications, identity theft can affect much more than a victim’s finances. Examples of ways that identity theft affects victims include:
- Identity thieves sometimes use their victims’ identities to obtain medical services. When this occurs, the thief’s medical records can become intertwined with the victim’s records, resulting in serious complications.
- During times of crisis, such as natural disasters, identity thieves often use victims’ personal information to file fraudulent claims, thereby resulting in the denial of victims’ legitimate claims.
- Identity thieves sometimes provide other people’s personal information to the authorities when facing criminal charges. This can result in identity theft victims being arrested for crimes they didn’t commit.
Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer
If you have had your identity stolen, you need the assistance of an experienced consumer class action lawyer. Identity theft is often the result of the negligent actions or inactions of entities that store your personal information. If an entity’s negligence has resulted in the theft of your identity, our experienced lawyers will work diligently to ensure that you are compensated for your losses. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.