In 2011, five percent of U.S. residents over the age of 16 became victims of identity theft. Over 50 percent were victims of credit card fraud.(Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics)
By 2012, estimates had put the number of teens victimized by identity thieves at ten percent. (Source: AllClearID)
“In many cases, these victims don't even know what credit and debit mean, and in some cases they are not even old enough to say those words out loud.“ (Source: Mary Lou Leary, "Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft," Federal Trade Commission, July 12, 2011)
These statistics highlight the serious nature of identity crime for children, teens, and young adults, populations that are increasingly targeted by identity criminals. In response to the growing risk, the National Teen Identity Crime Awareness Initiative is committed to improving teens' knowledge and understanding of identity theft and its short-term and long-term consequences.
We believe that comprehensive identity theft education encourages greater responsibility in financial dealings and protecting personal information both online and offline. We also believe that, if given the appropriate knowledge and tools, victims, regardless of age, can take charge of their circumstances and recover as quickly as possible from the emotional and financial impacts of identity crime.
The free online and offline courses offered by the NTICAI are meant to get the attention of a teen audience by presenting hard facts and statistics about the incidence of teen ID theft, stories told by real victims, and the real-world consequences of failing to protect against identity crime.
The programs provide information that will improve financial literacy and emphasize issues associated with privacy and risk awareness.