News & Resources

More instances of identity theft, but money lost stabilizes

Feb 25, 2012 Karen Umpierre

With the growth of smartphones comes increased routes for identity thieves to obtain personal information. According to research firm Javelin Strategy and Research, approximately 12 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2011, a 13-percent increase from 2010. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has had an extraordinary increase in overall complaints of identity theft since 2001, before the first smartphone was introduced to the market. From 2001 to 2010, identity theft complaints rose by nearly 170,000 – a near 200-percent increase. Javelin founder and President Jim Van Dyke said in a statement that consumers should never let their guard down, but resolving the issue of theft is difficult. "The challenge that we have is that criminals often change faster than everyday consumers or businesses." Still, the statistics show that while instances of identity theft are increasing, the total dollars lost to identity theft have remained the same from 2010 to 2011. This means that criminals are actually stealing less dollars per identity theft, and are having to work harder for every dollar, according to fraud analyst Mike Urban.