Facts & Figures


Protect Your Identity

You can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of one of the fastest growing crimes, identity theft.

Identity theft occurs when a thief uses personal information like your bank account or Social Security number to pretend to be you, opening a new account or credit card in your name.

By posing as a real person, the thief runs up bills but never pays, leaving you with credit problems. Identity theft costs businesses billions of dollars each year, and it costs consumers their good names.

By guarding your information and closely monitoring credit reports or freezing your credit reports you can fight back. Find tips on how to keep your personal information out of the hands of thieves.

North Carolina ID Theft Facts

More than 11 million people in the US are victims of ID theft each year. In North Carolina, about 300,000 people are victimized annually. (Javelin Strategy and Research, 2012)  North Carolina ranks 25th in the nation in terms of identity theft, and five North Carolina cities rank in the top 50 metropolitan areas for identity theft complaints:  Dunn, Thomasville-Lexington, New Bern, Rocky Mount and Goldsboro.  (FTC, 2012)

The identities of more than 3.9 million North Carolinians have been put at greater risk of ID theft by the more than 1,200 security breaches reported to us since December 2005.  

Cost to Businesses and Consumers

Businesses lose nearly $50 billion to identity theft each year. (FTC, 2003)


Consumer victims lose $5 billion as they try to restore their good names and credit, an average of $500 per victim. Victims of the most serious kind of ID theft, like an account opened in their name, spend $1,180 and 60 hours on average to try to undo the damage. (FTC, 2003)


Many victims suffer in other ways, including being denied credit, being harassed by creditors for bills that aren’t really theirs, having their utilities cut off, getting sued, or being arrested for crimes they didn’t commit.


Teen Drivers and Cell Phone Use

If is against the law in North Carolina for drivers under the age of 18 to use a mobile phone or any technology associated with a mobile telephone while a vehicle is in motion. Exceptions include: Talking to an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician's office, or health clinic; a public or private owned ambulance company or service; a fire department; a law enforcement agency or the operator's parent, legal guardian, or spouse.

If a minor is caught using a mobile communication device while driving, they will receive a $25 fine.  In addition to mobile phones, the law also stipulates the use of "other technology" that provides access to digital media such as a digital camera, email, music, the Internet, and games. No driver license points, insurance surcharge, or court costs are assessed as a result of a violation of this law. This law became effective December 1, 2007.

Did you know?
In 2008, there were 46,492 traffic crashes involving 15 to 19 year olds. Those crashes resulted in 81 fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries. Of the fatalities, 54% of the drivers were not wearing a seat belt. More than 1,200 crashes were alcohol-related.

Texting While Driving

North Carolina prohibits ALL drivers from texting or reading a text message while a vehicle is in motion.

Exceptions include:
Those performing in official duties such as: a law enforcement officer; a member of a fire department; or the operator of a public or private ambulance.

A driver that is caught texting or reading a text message while driving will face a fine of $100 plus court fees of at least $130.  The violation will not add points to your driving record and an insurance surcharge will not be assessed.

This law became effective December 1, 2009.

Did you know?

  • In North Carolina, the law now requires ALL passengers in a vehicle to wear their seat belts.  There are no longer age exceptions for passengers in the back seat.
  • The majority of teen crashes occur between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • The three most common contributing factors of teen crashes include, failure to yield, failure to reduce speed and driving too fast for conditions.
  • In 68% of teen crashes, the teen driver was named at fault for the crash.
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