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Publication Identity Theft, 2004

Katrina Baum, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

April 2, 2006    NCJ 212213

Presents data on identity theft victimization and its consequences from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). This is the first report from new questions about identity theft added to the survey in July 2004 and encompasses credit card thefts, thefts from existing accounts, misuse of personal information, and multiple types at the same time. The report, based on interviews with 40,000 household residents drawn to be nationally representative, describes age, race, and ethnicity of the household head; household income; and location of the household (urbanicity). Characteristics of the theft presented include economic loss, how the theft was discovered, whether misuse is ongoing, and problems experienced as a result of the identity theft.


  • Households headed by persons age 18-24 and those in the highest income bracket ($75,000 or more) were the most likely to experience identity theft.
  • 3 in 10 households experiencing any type of identity theft discovered it by missing money or noticing unfamiliar charges on an account; almost 1 in 4 were contacted by a credit bureau.
  • About two-thirds of households experiencing identity theft reported some type of a monetary loss as a result of theft.

Part of the Identity Theft Series

Press Release
Full report (PDF 152K)
ASCII file (34K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 60K)
Codebooks and Datasets
To order paper version

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About the Source Data
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

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