U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Victims of Identity Theft, 2016

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2019
28 pages
Publication Series
This report presents data on victims of identity theft in 2016, which were collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), a survey to determine the number of crimes reported and not reported to police by persons age 12 or older in a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Presents data on the prevalence and nature of identity theft against persons age 16 or older in 2016, including how victims discovered the crime; financial losses and other consequences; reporting the incident to credit card companies, credit bureaus, and police; the level of distress experienced by victims; lifetime prevalence rates of identity theft; and preventive action taken to reduce the risk of identity theft.

  • In 2016, 10% of persons age 16 or older had been victims of identity theft during the prior 12 months.
  • For 85% of identity-theft victims, the most recent incident involved the misuse or attempted misuse of only one type of existing account, such as a credit card or bank account.
  • One percent of persons age 16 or older had experienced the opening of a new account or misuse of personal information apart from misuse of an existing credit card or bank account or other existing account.
  • An estimated 12% of identity-theft victims had out-of-pocket losses of $1 or more; 88% either had no out-of-pocket losses or had losses of less than $1.
  • More than half (55%) of identity-theft victims who resolved associated financial or credit problems did so in one day or less.

Date Published: January 1, 2019