Identity theft can hit anyone, but almost all the people victimized take action to correct the problem, according to a survey released Thursday by the American Institute of CPAs.
Ninety-three percent of identity theft victims took action to fix the loss, the institute says, but 59 percent did not report it to law enforcement authorities. The fact that the problem can be fixed does not keep others from being wary. Ten percent of the 1,005 people interviewed say they think it is very or extremely likely they will be the victims of identity theft and half say it is at least likely. In reality, 21 percent suffered identity theft or attempted identity theft.
Of the victims who took action, 72 percent contacted their credit or debit card company to set up additional protections, 50 percent started using cash or checks more often, 46 percent stopped or decreased using online financial transactions and 10 percent started using alternatives such as bitcoin.
The Institute recommends proactive steps to prevent fraud, such as obtaining theft protection from credit and debit card companies and checking account balances daily. Victims of fraud or theft should report it to the local police, the credit reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission.