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Victims of Identity Theft, 2008

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2010
20 pages
Lynn Langton; Michael Planty, Ph.D.
Publication Series
This report 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 Bureau of Justice Statistics 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 2 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 include the following: An estimated 11.7 million persons, representing 5 percent 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 percent) of identity theft victims suffered an out-of-pocket financial loss from the victimization; about 42 percent of victims spent 1 day or less working to resolve the financial and credit problems associated with the identity theft; however, 3 percent continued to experience problems related to the theft more than 6 months after discovering it. (Published Abstract)

Date Created: December 12, 2013