1 in 14 Americans Faced Identity Theft Last Year

In addition to financial losses, fraud takes a heavy emotional toll on victims, a government survey says

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Almost 17 million people — one in 14 Americans — were the targets or victims of identity theft last year, according to new government data.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics survey reveals that two-thirds of victims suffered monetary losses, averaging $1,769. In total, identity theft cost Americans $24.7 billion in 2012, the Associated Press reports. Households that made $75,000 a year and higher were the most heavily impacted, according to the survey. Credit card and bank account fraud were the most common form of identity theft.

While financial losses were significant, Americans faced with identity theft also dealt with severe emotional distress as they tried to secure their personal information and resolve credit issues. One in 10 victims spent more than a month fixing fraud-related problems.