One of the unfortunately frequent causes of low credit scores is also identity theft. ID theft has been growing rapidly over the past years and despite constant battles to prevent and stop it will surely never go away. There are plenty of ways you can get your identity stolen today: phishing websites, dumpster diving, employee records are just some of them. When you’re applying for a loan or mortgage you will also have to give out your personal details which puts you at additional risk. Some of the companies do in fact exist only to scam people and steal their personal records, which inevitably leads to identity theft.
Every year in the US millions of people fall victims to identity theft. The average numbers victims spend recovering from stolen identity is 330 hours: 26-32% of victims spend 4 to 6 months dealing with their case, and 11-23% report dealing with their case for 7 months to a year. That’s months of sleepless nights, and plenty of lost money as well. Read on for some other additional statistics on identity theft:
- Victims lose $1,820 to $14, 340 in wages dealing with their cases
- Average expenses on ID theft cases is around $1200
- Nearly half (47%) of people have trouble getting a credit or a loan, as a direct result of their identity being stolen
- 19% of all victims have higher credit rates, and 16% have to pay higher insurance rates
- 66% of victims’ personal information is used to open a new credit account in their name
- Only 20% of victims find it easy to reach someone in a credit reporting agency after receiving their credit report
- 20% of ID theft victims will have the misinformation and errors removed from their credit report after their first request for the credit reporting agency to do so
Just by reading these short statistics on what happens to people after they get their identity stolen should give you a reason to find out more about how you can prevent it from happening to you. Getting your identity stolen is one of the worst things that can happen to someone, not because it will lower your credit score, but because it will take months and sometimes even years to recover from it. That means months of sleepless nights and thousands of dollars spent.