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Publication Victims of Identity Theft, 2016

Erika Harrell, Ph.D., BJS Statistician

January 8, 2019    NCJ 251147

Presents data on the prevalence and nature of identity theft against persons age 16 or older in 2016, including how victims discovered the crime; financial losses and other consequences; reporting the incident to credit card companies, credit bureaus, and police; the level of distress experienced by victims; lifetime prevalence rates of identity theft; and preventive action taken to reduce the risk of identity theft.


  • In 2016, 10% of persons age 16 or older had been victims of identity theft during the prior 12 months.
  • For 85% of identity-theft victims, the most recent incident involved the misuse or attempted misuse of only one type of existing account, such as a credit card or bank account.
  • One percent of persons age 16 or older had experienced the opening of a new account or misuse of personal information apart from misuse of an existing credit card or bank account or other existing account.
  • An estimated 12% of identity-theft victims had out-of-pocket losses of $1 or more; 88% either had no out-of-pocket losses or had losses of less than $1.
  • More than half (55%) of identity-theft victims who resolved associated financial or credit problems did so in one day or less.

Part of the Identity Theft Series

Summary (PDF 164K)
Full report (PDF 552K)
Data tables (Zip format 98K)

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About the Source Data
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

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