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Debt.com » Press Release » Identity Theft Crimes are on the Rise with Nearly 50% Reporting Being Victims in 2023

Identity Theft Crimes are on the Rise with Nearly 50% Reporting Being Victims in 2023


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Debt.com’s third annual survey shows identity theft is more common, costly, and damages credit scores.

December is Identity Theft Awareness Month, and for the past three years, Debt.com has polled Americans about the most common crime in the country. For the first time, almost half of all Americans have been a victim of identity theft.

More than 2,100 U.S. organizations filed data breach notices in 2023, outpacing the previous year that saw 1,802 reported breaches. According to this year’s Debt.com survey results, identity theft is more frequent than ever, with 49.22% of respondents saying they have been victims, which is a nearly 10% increase from 2021. 

Almost half of respondents said identity theft cost them up to $500. That might explain why almost 1 in 5 took on more than $500 of debt due to the crime. Debt.com President Don Silvestri predicts that debt will only grow over the next few years. “Not only is identity theft spreading, but it’s hurting Americans’ fragile budgets more than ever,” he says. “They already face record amounts of debt due to rising interest rates, student loans, and credit card bills. They shouldn’t have to go into debt to recover from this crime.”

Credit scores also took a hit. More than 40% said their credit score dropped due to identity theft. In 2022, it was 31% and in 2021, that number was 38.5%. A significant number of those polled had their credit scores fall by up to 100 points with drops reaching new heights this year:

  • 2023 – 38% 
  • 2022 – 32%
  • 2021 – 34%

“This is an ominous sign,” Silvestri says. “Taking on personal debt to recover from identity theft is bad enough, but a lower credit score has long-lasting ramifications. Imagine trying to buy a car or a home with a credit score that’s 100 points lower. That could add up to thousands of dollars for years to come. Identity theft is a crime that just keeps on taking.”

The survey found that some areas of the country were more affected than others. The Mid-Atlantic region reports the highest incidents of identity theft (22.06%) while New England has the lowest (3.44%). The Pacific and South Atlantic regions come in second (17.61%) and third (15.99%), respectively.

About Debt.com: Debt.com is the website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, and more. Debt.com provides the best advice and solutions for consumers ‘when life happens.’

Media Contact: Jill Randolph [email protected]

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