Breach victims three times more likely to become identity theft victims

Individuals whose credit card information was exposed in a data breach are three times more likely to become identity theft victims than those whose credit cards were not exposed.

A report compiled by Javelin Strategy & Research found that 12.7 million individuals were victims of identity theft in 2014, a 3 percent decrease from 2013. Two-thirds of these individuals had received data breach notifications. A total of $16 billion was stolen from them, an 11 percent decrease from the previous year, according to InformationWeek.

Although the totals are decreasing, identity theft complaints topped the Federal Trade Commission's list for the 15th consecutive year. Healthcare data breaches in particular are becoming more commonplace. Medical identity theft jumped approximately 22 percent in 2014, according to the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance.

In the Anthem breach early in February, hackers accessed the personal data of approximately 78.8 million individuals. Although Anthem has said it has no reason to believe credit card information was accessed, the company has warned affected individuals to monitor their credit in case of identity theft.

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