Millions of people in the United States fall victim to identity fraud, identity theft, and other types of deception each year, both knowingly and unknowingly.
Although recent years have witnessed an increasing awareness about the protection of personal data, the statistics show identity theft crimes in the US are on the rise.
According to new data the number of identity theft complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission in the United States jumped over 650,000 in 2019.
Identity Theft Complaints Jumped 45% in a Year
In 2019, the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network received over 3.2 million reports. More than 50% of them or 1.7 million were fraud complaints. Identity theft reports ranked as the second-largest type of crime with 650,572 complaints, or 20% of all received reports last year.
Credit card frauds topped the list of US identity theft reports in 2019. The statistics show US citizens fell victim to credit card scams over 271,000 times last year. More than 215,000 reports referred to other identity theft types.
Loan or lease fraud ranked third on the list, with nearly 105,000 reports in 2019. More than 83,500 citizens fell victim to phone or utility scams, while almost 59,000 of them were affected by the consequences of bank fraud. Employment or tax-related fraud, and government documents or benefits fraud follow with 45,500 and 23,000 complaints, respectively.
However, the statistics indicate the total number of identity theft reports in the United States has been on the rise for the last three years. In 2017, the Consumer Sentinel Network received over 370,000 complaints from the US citizens who fell victims of identity theft frauds. In the next twelve months, the figure jumped to 444,000. From 2018 to 2019, the number of complaints rose by 45% and reached over 650,000 in 2019.
Identity Theft Caused $100 Million Worth Losses
The Internet Crime Complaint Centre data show identity theft crimes caused severe financial damage to US citizens. With more than $100 million worth losses, identity theft ranked as the fifth most costly reported crime between 2014 and 2018.
Analyzed by the country, Georgia had the highest rate of identity fraud complaints in 2019, with 427 per 100,000 of the population. Florida ranked second with 304 reports in 100,000 people. The statistics show California was the third-leading US state in the number of identity fraud complaints with 257 reports per 100,000 citizens.