8. Identity Theft and Your Credit
Identity theft is such a rapidly growing crime that some experts say it’s no longer a matter of whether you’ll become a victim, it’s a matter of when.
Currently, experts estimate between nine million and ten million people per year fall victim to identity theft. The annual costs of this crime are staggering:
• Billions of dollars in losses to business and institutions
• Millions of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for consumers
• 300 million hours spent by consumers trying to resolve the problem, stop the fraud, and clear up their credit reports
Identity theft encompasses a variety of crimes, from stealing someone’s credit card number to opening accounts in the victim’s name. About 15 percent ...