Identity theft is a prevalent issue that affects a significant number of individuals worldwide. While exact figures are difficult to determine due to underreporting and variations in reporting standards across different jurisdictions, available data provides insights into the prevalence of identity theft.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States, identity theft has consistently been one of the most reported types of fraud. In 2020, the FTC received over 1.3 million reports of identity theft, representing an increase of around 113% compared to the previous year. These reports included instances of identity theft related to credit card fraud, government documents or benefits fraud, loan or lease fraud, and other forms of identity-related fraud.
Furthermore, various studies and surveys have indicated the global impact of identity theft. For instance, a study conducted by NortonLifeLock in 2020 estimated that 1 in 3 individuals globally experienced identity theft in the past year. The study covered multiple countries and found that some regions, such as Latin America, had higher reported rates of identity theft compared to others.
It’s important to note that the methods and techniques employed by identity thieves are continuously evolving, including traditional methods such as stealing physical documents, as well as newer forms like online scams, data breaches, and phishing attacks. To protect themselves, individuals are encouraged to be vigilant in safeguarding personal information, using secure online practices, and monitoring their financial accounts for any suspicious activity.
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, it’s crucial to report the incident to the relevant authorities and take steps to mitigate the potential damage, such as notifying financial institutions, credit bureaus, and filing a police report.