Is Identity Theft Really Like the Commercials Show It?

The Ugly Reality of Identity Theft

If you've seen the identity theft commercials on television -- the one that portrays the big guy sitting on the couching talking with a cheerleader's voice or the one with the little old lady with the voice of a gangster -- it can be hard not to laugh. But is identity theft really a laughing matter?

Not An Accurate Portrayal

Sure, everyone enjoys a good laugh, but perhaps we shouldn't be laughing at identity theft. After all, identity theft is scarier (and oftentimes more involved) than these commercials let on and no matter what the company running these commercials wants you to think, carrying one credit card over another one isn't going to lower your chances of falling victim to the crime.

So How Bad Is It?

No matter how hard we fight identity theft and no matter how much information we arm the public with, it seems that criminals are still getting the upper hand. In fact, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has estimated that up to 9 million people become the victim of identity theft each and every year.

So let's assume the FTC's estimate is accurate and 9 million people fall victim to identity theft this year. Studies indicate that becoming a victim of an identity theft crime will cost a person about $750. Multiply $750 by 9 million, and this year alone 6,750,000,000. That's almost 7 billion dollars.

Fighting Back

The figures are daunting. Seven billion dollars in losses is not something to take lightly. That being said, however, it's important to note that it's not a hopeless cause. You can indeed decrease your chances of becoming an identity theft victim. It's just a matter of knowing what measures to take and putting those measures into action.

If you haven't done so yet, make sure you read all of the material on this website. There are numerous tips and resources for preventing identity theft. It may take time to get informed, but the time spent is well worth it if it helps you stay off the list of identity theft victims.

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