Identity Theft May Affect One in Two Consumers
Almost half of U.S. adults have been hit with identity theft, according to a new report that finds the crime much more pervasive than generally recognized.
The analysis found that 47 percent of consumers had experienced identity theft, which can harm consumers in many ways. Over a third – 37 percent – had their identities improperly used by others to apply for a financial account. Separately, 38 percent said that within the past two years someone else had tried improperly to take over an account they owned.
The report, entitled U.S. Identity Theft: The Stark Reality, was sponsored by GIACT, a fraud detection company, and developed by Aite Group, a research and consulting firm. The findings suggest that identity theft is a much larger threat than past studies have suggested. It further found that if someone becomes a victim, they may not be satisfied with the support they receive from the financial institution in question.
More than half – 56 percent – whose name was used in a fraudulent consumer loan application, and almost half – 42 percent – whose name was used in a fraudulent credit card application, said they were not likely to keep doing business with that same financial institution.
The findings remind us how important it is to always stay on our guard against financial fraud and watch out for scams. Older adults are often the targets, and elder fraud remains a special concern. No one should risk losing a lifetime of savings. If you have questions about a potential scam, you can call EverSafe’s hotline at 888-728-8850 and/or forward the written communication to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can often stop exploiters in their tracks – if you take steps to protect yourself and your family.