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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

ID Theft 101: Pop Quiz

There's been a lot of confusion over various ID theft reports lately. Read through our ID theft quiz based on findings from the 2013 ID Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research to find out if your knowledge on the latest identity theft trends makes the grade.

1. Identity Theft is on the rise in the US.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True. Identity theft has hit a three-year high. There were 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in 2012; a one million incident increase over the previous year. The report also found the total amount of fraud increased to $21 billion, the largest loss suffered in the past three years, and an increase of nearly $3 billion from the 2011 study.


2. If your personal information is compromised in a data breach, how likely are you to become a victim of identity theft?

  • 12%
  • 23%
  • 57%
  • 83%

Answer: 23%. Almost 1 in 4 consumers who received a data breach notification become a victim of identity theft. This is an all-time survey high, up from less than 1 in 5 in 2011.


3. What is the most common piece of personal info stolen in a data breach?

  • Bank account number
  • Credit card number
  • Social Security number
  • Birth date

Answer: Credit Card Numbers are the most frequently stolen personal information in a data breach.


4. If your SSN is exposed in a data breach you are less likely to become a victim of ID theft.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False. Social Security Number is the most damaging piece of personal information an identity thief can steal from you, making you 5 times more likely to become a victim of identity theft than an average consumer.


What should you do to protect yourself?

  • Protect Your Information. Exposing common information like birth dates and addresses puts consumers at a greater risk as these elements are commonly used by financial institutions for security questions and validation of identity to access accounts. Even such seemingly harmless information could be valuable to experienced identity thieves.
  • Be Social, But Be Smart. Knowing that social networks are a hotbed for identity fraud activity, consumers should take extra care when deciding who to connect with and what applications to accept. Users that approve friend requests from strangers and use GPS/location based applications are far more susceptible to fraud.
  • Take Caution with Mobile Computing. The convenience of online and mobile banking is here to stay, but consumers need to take the extra step of ensuring their network connection is secure and their devices have updated security. Never access your banking information through public WiFi. Instead, use your carrier’s cellular service.
  • Be an Active Party in Detection. Identity fraud is more than just the victimization of credit card information. Take advantage of comprehensive identity protection services like Identity Guard®, which not only monitors credit reports but also scans public records and online activity for signs of fraudulent use of personal information. Consumers have the extra security they need to help keep them protected.
  • Act Quickly. The sooner a victim learns of the fraud, the sooner their road to recovery can begin and the likelihood their losses will be reduced. Consumers must remain alert and act quickly in the event they notice suspicious activity, reporting it to their financial institutions and law enforcement. Services like Identity Guard can help to notify you when certain activity is detected.