Recent studies estimate that there are 10 million victims of identity theft annually - and that number is rising. Stealing someone's identity today is relatively easy, and the payoffs can be huge for an offender. The average amount netted from a bank robbery today is about $3,500, while the average amount netted from identity theft is $17,000. Thanks to the internet, offenders don't even have to leave their own home to commit identity theft, which makes it less risky than robbing a bank and very profitable because they can victimize many people or even just one person repeatedly.
Becoming a victim of identity theft can be frustrating, devastating, and can sometimes take years to recover from. Recovering or re-establishing your credit or good name can be a lengthy process, but there are resources to assist you.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate your risk, there are many ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, or to minimize the impact if your information is compromised. Learn how to do that here.
If you become a victim of identity theft, swift and well documented action is essential to reduce the impact. The sooner that identity theft is discovered and action is taken, the less financial and time loss to the victim.