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Publication Victims of Identity Theft, 2008

Lynn Langton, Michael Planty, Ph.D.

December 16, 2010    NCJ 231680

Presents findings from the 2008 Identity Theft Supplement (ITS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS/ITS used interviews from a nationally representative sample of about 56,500 U.S. household residents to collect the first BJS data on individual victims of identity theft. Identity theft is defined as the unauthorized use or attempted use of existing accounts, the unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information to open a new account, and the misuse or attempted use of personal information for a fraudulent purpose. The report details the number and percentage of persons who reported at least one incident of identity theft over the past two years, the amount of direct and indirect financial loss due to identity theft, victim reporting to credit bureaus and law enforcement agencies, and the impact of identity theft on victims'lives.

Highlights:

  • An estimated 11.7 million persons, representing 5% of all persons age 16 or older in the United States, experienced at least one type of identity theft in a 2-year period.
  • Although the total financial cost of identity theft was nearly $17.3 billion over a 2-year period, less than a quarter (23%) of identity theft victims suffered an out-of-pocket financial loss from the victimization.
  • About 42% of victims spent 1 day or less working to resolve the financial and credit problems associated with the identity theft; however, 3% continued to experience problems related to the theft more than 6 months after discovering it.

Part of the Identity Theft Series

Press Release
PDF (665K)
ASCII file (31K)
Spreadsheets (Zip format 28K)

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About the Source Data
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

To cite this product, use the following link:
http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2222

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