Can Identity Theft Ruin Your Life?

Who does identity theft affect the most?

Three main age groups stand out among victims of identity theft: the elderly, college students and children.

The Bureau of Justice reports the number of elderly victims grew by 25 percent between 2012 and 2014.

In children, identity theft victims as young as 5 months old have been reported..

What are you liable for if your identity is stolen?

You have limited liability for fraudulent debts caused by identity theft. Under most state laws, you’re not responsible for any debt incurred on fraudulent new accounts opened in your name without your permission. Under federal law, the amount you have to pay for unauthorized use of your credit card is limited to $50.

Which is the most common age group for victims of identity theft?

16 or olderU.S. residents age 16 or older, were victims of one or more incidents of identity theft in 2014 (figure 1). This was similar to findings in 2012. Among identity theft victims, existing bank (38%) or credit card (42%) accounts were the most common types of misused information.

What are the dangers of identity theft?

Identity theft can happen to anyone and lead to a number of problems. It can damage your credit and disqualify you from loans, stall your tax refund, and drain your bank account — to name but a few outcomes. In more severe cases, it can even get you wrongfully arrested.

How do you know if your identity has been stolen?

Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your InformationYou see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.You don’t get your bills or other mail.Merchants refuse your checks.Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.More items…

How often are people affected from identity theft?

In 2019, 14.4 million consumers became victims of identity fraud — that’s about 1 in 15 people. Overall, 33 percent of U.S. adults have experienced identity theft, which is more than twice the global average. More than one in four older adults, aged 55 and over, have experienced identity theft.

What happens when your identity is stolen?

Identity (ID) theft happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud. The identity thief may use your information to apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name.

How do you survive identity theft?

If you’re a victim of identity theft, follow these steps to protect yourself.File a claim with your identity theft insurance, if applicable.Notify companies of your stolen identity.File a report with the Federal Trade Commission.Contact your local police department.Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.More items…

How do people steal your identity?

A thief can get your personal information in person or online. Here are some ways thieves might steal someone’s identity. … steal your mail or garbage to get your account numbers or your Social Security number. trick you into sending personal information in an email.

What do I do if my personal information has been compromised?

7 Steps to take after your personal data is compromised onlineChange your passwords. … Sign up for two-factor authentication. … Check for updates from the company. … Watch your accounts, check your credit reports. … Consider identity theft protection services. … Freeze your credit. … Go to IdentityTheft.gov.More items…

Can you go to jail if someone steals your identity?

Yes, a person can go to jail for committing identity theft. … Identity theft is often the first step to bank fraud, credit fraud, or other types of crime that add up to large amounts of stolen money or property that can then be effectively prosecuted in court for greater penalties, like jail time.

Do Police Investigate Identity Theft?

Police departments can do very little to investigate and prosecute identity theft. … You can use the Identity Theft Report to help get false information taken off your credit reports, stop a company from collecting debts and place an extended fraud alert on your credit reports.

What are 4 effects of identity theft?

A 2016 Identity Theft Resource Center survey of identity theft victims sheds light on the prevalence of this emotional suffering caused by identity theft: 74 percent of respondents reported feeling stressed. 69 percent reported feelings of fear related to personal financial safety. 60 percent reported anxiety.

Are identity thieves ever caught?

Identity thieves almost never get caught In a study done in 2006, “only 1 in 700 identity theft suspects were arrested by federal authorities (0.14%).” Just to provide some perspective and comparison, 44.3% of violent crime suspects were arrested as well as 15.8% of alternative property crimes.

What to do if I gave my information to a scammer?

If You Gave a Scammer Your Personal Information Go to IdentityTheft.gov to see what steps you should take, including how to monitor your credit. Did you give a scammer your username and password? Create a new, strong password. If you use the same password anywhere else, change it there, too.