65+ identity theft statistics to know in 2024

Identity theft has been the most frequently reported type of cybercrime for the past five consecutive years, with estimates indicating that 26 million Americans fall victim annually, resulting in losses exceeding $16 billion.

Despite these alarming figures, there is a positive development: 42% of businesses plan to increase their investment in cybersecurity. 

Here’s an overview of identity theft statistics, facts, and trends, updated for 2024.

10 key identity theft statistics published in 2024

Here are our top picks of identity theft stats from recently published reports:

  1. Identity theft was the most common form of fraud in 2023 (accounting for 19% of all frauds reported to the FTC).
  2. Identity theft cases made up 26% of cybercrimes in 2023.
  3. Most identity thefts (34%) used online methods like phishing, unauthorized transactions, and remote access.
  4. Approximately 26M Americans fall victim to identity theft incidents every year.
  5. Millennials (37%) and Gen X (29%) made up the majority of identity theft victims in 2023.
  6. About 1 in 5 Americans have experienced identity theft in their lifetime.
  7. 55% of US businesses reported identity theft attempts involving fake physical documents in 2023.
  8. Credit card fraud cost Americans $246M in 2023, averaging $2.2K per victim.
  9. Since 2018, the estimated number of identity theft victims has risen by 1,400%.
  10. 30% of consumers reported that their credit card or payment information was exposed in 2023.

Before we begin

Identity theft does not have a standardized, nationwide definition.

Some sources differentiate identity theft from identity fraud, treating them as two distinct incidents.

However, throughout this article, we’ll use the terms “identity theft” and “identity fraud” interchangeably, following the definition provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

That is—

Identity theft is a fraud, committed or attempted, using a person’s identifying information without authority.

Having that squared away, let’s get going!

General overview of identity theft in the US

Some of the statistics below are from 2021.

That’s not because the information is outdated.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics—the authority that offers the most comprehensive analysis of identity theft—releases these reports every couple of years.

The stats here are drawn from the latest one, published at the end of 2023.

Here are some general statistics about identity theft:

  • According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 19% of all reported frauds in 2023 were identity thefts—down from 22% in 2022 and 25% in 2021.
  • Around 10% of Americans were victims of identity theft in 2021.
  • Nearly 60% of identity theft victims in 2021 suffered some form of financial loss—totaling $16B.
  • The average financial loss per identity theft victim in 2021 was $1,160, with a median of $200.
  • Cybercrimes could cost the world $9.5T in 2024.
  • Only 21% of identity theft victims in 2021 were aware of how their personal data leaked.
  • 37% of identity thefts in 2021 involved cyber-enabled methods.
  • Globally, 47% of document frauds in 2023 targeted national ID cards, followed by passports (24%), and driving licenses (18%).
  • In 2023, the FTC received 5.4M fraud reports, including over 1M concerning identity theft.
  • The number of biometric fraud incidents doubled between 2022 and 2023.
  • In 2023, the greatest proportion of identity theft reports (31%) involved credit card usage.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2023

In-depth look at identity theft

But let’s take a closer look at the types of identity theft cases.

Estimates vary on how rapidly this dangerous trend is growing:

  • According to TransUnion’s report, identity theft frauds increased by 113% from 2019 to 2023.
  • The FTC reports that the number of identity theft complaints grew by 54% from 2019 to 2023.
  • The years 2020 and 2021 saw record highs in the number of identity theft complaints to the FTC, reaching an astounding 1.4 million reports each year—a 115% increase from 2019.

Here’s a detailed overview of the FTC’s stats on identity theft from 2019 to 2023:

Source: Federal Trade Commission Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2023

  • 76% of identity crimes in 2021 involved the use of the victim’s existing accounts.
  • In 2021, 25% of identity theft victims discovered the incident through contact from a financial institution, 19% by detecting suspicious activity on their accounts, and only 9% by noticing the loss of money.
  • Americans aged 30–39 are the most frequent victims of identity theft, accounting for 30% of reported cases in 2023.
  • Approximately 30% of victims have experienced multiple types of identity theft in their lifetime.
  • More than half of identity theft victims (56%) resolved their issues in one day or less.
  • In 2023, Americans under 19 mostly experienced employment or tax-related identity theft (62%)
  • Identity thefts lead in fraud reports at 94% of all reports, followed by phishing at 88%, and online dating scams at 82%, as per reports from 2023.
  • In 2021, the highest cost of identity theft per victim—$3.4K—occurred when data was used to open new accounts (e.g., credit, bank, or similar).
  • Victims whose data was used in credit card fraud in 2021 faced financial losses of $620 on average.

Source: E. Harell, A. Thompson “Victims of Identity Theft, 2021”, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2023

The typical of identity theft victim

In this section, we’ll delve into the profiles of identity theft victims.

That means examining their ages, methods of fraud discovery, subsequent interactions, and more.

  • Millennials (37%) and Gen X (29%) made up the majority of identity theft victims in 2023.

Source: The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report 2023

  • Identity theft occurs more often to women (54%) than men (46%).
  • Whites make up 70% of identity theft victims, followed by Hispanics (12%), and Blacks (11%).
  • Americans earning $50K–$100K per year are the largest group of identity theft victims, accounting for 32% of the total in 2021.
  • Individuals earning over $200K annually made up the smallest group of identity theft victims in 2021, at 11%.
  • 86% of victims successfully resolved financial or credit issues from their most recent identity theft incident.
  • 71% of identity theft victims changed passwords on financial accounts, compared to 48% of non-victims.
  • 43% of Americans don’t know what actions to take if they fall victim to an online hack.
  • Only 39% of victims knew whom to contact and how to report identity theft incidents.

Source: The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report 2023

  • Interestingly, 13% of identity theft victims reported the incident to their family for them to take care of it.
  • 10% of identity theft victims were severely distressed by the crime.

Why identity theft is on the rise in 2024

Identity theft is on the rise.

Why is that?

While we can’t provide a definitive answer, these statistics might offer some insight:

  • In 2023, a record-breaking 3.2K data-compromise incidents were reported—an all-time high, up by 78% from 2022.
  • The personal information of 353M people was leaked in 2023.
  • There were 31 times as many deepfake attempts in 2023 than the year before.
  • Cyberattacks are the leading cause of personal data theft, accounting for 74% of breaches in 2023.
  • 30% of businesses saw an increase in data and security breaches between 2022 and 2023.

Source: Identity Theft Resource Center, “Annual Data Breach Report”, 2024

There’s a new player joining the game: Synthetic Identity Theft.

It’s a blend of real personal information with fabricated details, such as data created by AI.

Synthetic Identity Theft accounts for 85% of all identity fraud cases, according to a survey by Authentic—a company that specializes in fraud prevention.

47% of businesses reported an increase in Synthetic Identity Theft in 2023.

But that’s not all.

You see, some aspects—like the statistics mentioned—are beyond our control.

However, there are others that we can influence.

Like how we act online.

Here’s how Americans manage their personal data on the web:

  • 29% of Americans don’t consider privacy a big deal.
  • 21% of US adults trust their data handlers will “act responsibly,” 38% fear identity theft or misuse.
  • 16% of US smartphone users don’t use security features to lock their phones.
  • 46% of Americans prefer passwords that are easier to remember, even at the cost of security.
  • 63% of Americans aged 65+ write down their passwords.
  • 38% of Americans use personal information in their passwords.
  • 40% use simple dictionary words with character substitutions (e.g., p@ssw0rd).

But it’s not all doom and gloom—

There’s some gold in them hills:

  • 42% of businesses plan to boost tech investment to fight fraud in 2024.
  • Some machine learning tools detect document fraud with 99%+ accuracy.
  • 56% of consumers prioritize personal data security when choosing a bank.
  • 68% consider identity fraud risks in their financial activities and purchases.
  • 76% of social media users under 50 updated their privacy settings at least once.
  • 42% of US internet users under 50 use encrypted messaging apps.
  • 90% of those 16+ have taken at least one action to prevent identity theft.

Source: E. Harell, A. Thompson “Victims of Identity Theft, 2021”, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2023

Identity theft by the State

One might think that cybercrime, such as identity theft, would be equally common across all states.

Just consider it—

Since data is mostly stolen via the internet, the victim’s location shouldn’t matter.


It turns out there’s significant variation in identity theft rates among states.

The Federal Trade Commission has developed an index to measure identity theft relative to population size.

Here are the 5 US states with the highest rates of identity theft incidents:

Source: Federal Trade Commission, “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2023,” 2024

The states with the lowest score?

  1. South Dakota: 94
  2. Vermont: 97
  3. Wyoming: 106
  4. West Virginia: 110
  5. Alaska: 114

And a bonus:

  • Puerto Rico: 51
  • The District of Columbia: 478

Stacking it all up

There you have it—

A comprehensive roundup of identity theft statistics, trends, and facts.

The Identity Theft Resource Center predicts a rather grim future, filled with AI-driven identity scams and increasingly sophisticated identity theft crimes.

That may well be the case.

However, some cybersecurity experts see AI-based authentication, biometric methods, and chip cards as effective measures against identity theft.

What are your thoughts?


What percentage of people have their identity stolen?

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 1 in 5 Americans (22%) have fallen victim to identity theft in their lifetime. Other estimates suggest that around 26 million Americans (9%) suffer from identity fraud each year.

What is the most common crime of identity theft?

Credit card fraud was the most common type of identity theft in 2023, making up 31% of all cases reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Unauthorized use of bank accounts came in second, with 24% of cases.

How are most identities stolen?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the majority of identity theft cases (37%) were carried out through cyber-enabled methods, such as online transactions, scam emails, and phone calls. In-person transactions were the second-most common method, accounting for 18% of cases.

What age is at the greatest risk of identity theft?

The FTC report indicates that Americans aged 30–39 face the highest risk of identity theft, constituting 30% of cases in 2023. Correspondingly, The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report reveals that Millennials account for 37% of incidents.



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