The survey results show four in ten people have been victims – and for many, it cost up to a thousand dollars to fix. 

To support National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month, Debt.com asked Americans if they’ve ever fallen victim to the crime. Despite being the most common crime in the country, those who’ve had their identity stolen were still shocked when they found out.

More than 40 percent of the survey’s respondents said they’ve been a victim of identity theft. Interestingly, of those respondents, 84 percent said they were “surprised to find they were a target of identity theft.” Even further is how much the crime cost them – less than a quarter said they lost $50 to $500.

“We’ve all heard horror stories of people losing everything to these thieves, so losses in the hundreds of dollars is progress,” says Debt.com president Don Silvestri. “Part of that is lenders and creditors becoming much quicker to notice fraud so they can cut it off before it gets out of hand.”

Here’s a full breakdown of how much identity theft cost the respondents:

Cost of identity theft:

  • 22% lost $50 – $500
  • 21% lost $500 – $1,000
  • 15% lost $1,000 – $2,500
  • 11% lost $2,500 – $5,500

Debt and identity theft:

  • 17% took up to $250 in debt
  • 17% took between $250-$500
  • 14% took on $500 or more

One positive result from the survey: most (64 percent) protect themselves with a credit monitoring service or similar. Find out the biggest takeaways from the research in the charts below.

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft?

 

 

If yes, how much money did this theft cost you?

 

 

Did your identity theft cause you to go into debt?

 

 

If yes, how much debt did you take on due to identity theft?

 

 

What type of identity theft did you suffer from?

 

 

Were you surprised to find you were a target of identity theft?

 

 

Has identity theft had a negative impact on your credit score?

 

 

If yes, how much did your credit score drop because of your identity theft?

 

 

Do you currently use a credit monitoring or identity theft protection service?

 

 

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? Yes No
Percentage of respondents 40.81% 59.19%
If yes, how much money did this theft cost you, in both money lost and money spent fixing the problem? Percentage of respondents
$0-$50 18.5%
$50-$500 21.99%
$500-$1,000 20.77%
$1,000-$2,500 14.83%
$2,500-$4,000 7.33%
$4,000-$5,500 3.84%
$5,500-$7,000 1.4%
$7,000 or more 3.84%
N/A 7.5%
Did your identity theft cause you to go into debt? Yes No
Percentage of respondents 31.59% 68.41%
If yes, how much debt did you take on due to identity theft? Percentage of respondents
$0-$250 17.45%
$250-$500 17.28%
$500 or more 14.14%
N/A 51.13%
What type of identity theft did you suffer from? Percentage of respondents
Bank fraud 18.5%
Credit card fraud 21.99%
Loan fraud 20.77%
Phone fraud 14.83%
Phishing scam 7.33%
Tax fraud 3.84%
Other 1.4%
N/A 3.84%
Were you surprised to find you were a target of identity theft? Yes No
Percentage of respondents 83.77% 16.23%
Has identity theft had a negative impact on your credit score? Yes No
Percentage of respondents 38.57% 61.43%
If yes, how much did your credit score drop because of your identity theft? Percentage of respondents
Not at all 56.72%
10-20 point drop 12.39%
21-50 point drop 13.79%
51-100 point drop 8.90%
101-200 point drop 3.84%
My credit score dropped more than 200 points 4.36%
Do you currently use a credit monitoring or identity theft protection service? Yes No
Percentage of respondents 63.53% 36.47%

Methodology: Debt.com surveyed 1,414 people and asked nine questions related to identity theft. People responded from all 50 states and Washington, DC and were aged 18 and above. Responses were collected through SurveyMonkey. The survey was conducted from Nov. 17, 2021 to Dec. 6, 2021. Percentages were rounded up to the nearest whole number and might not total 100 percent.