According to a report by Identity Theft 911, the true number of state identity theft victims may be nearly 34 times higher than the current Federal Trade Commission complaint numbers suggest. Arizona ranks number one in the nation for identity theft complaints per capita, with the number of complaints having risen 55 percent since 2002.
The findings include:
- Approximately 293,500 Arizona residents fell victim to identity theft in 2007—the equivalent to every man, woman and child living in Scottsdale, Apache Junction and Casa Grade, AZ.
- Children in Arizona became victims of identity theft at nearly four times the national rate. More than 1.1 million Arizona children’s identities have already been stolen.
- More than a third of stolen identities in Arizona are used for fraudulent employment.
- Identity theft cost Arizona victims an estimated $147 million last year. During that time, they also wasted a total of 1.2 million hours resolving identity theft issues.
- An estimated 1.57 million Arizona residents, or 25 percent of the state’s population, have been victims of identity theft in the last six years.
The report highlights new potential reasons for the dramatic increase of identity theft, including illegal immigration and fraudulent employment.