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Identity Fraud at a three year high

February 22, 2013

More than $21 billion was stolen as a result of identity fraud in the United States last year, the highest amount since 2009.

More than $21 billion was stolen as a result of identity fraud in the United States last year, the highest amount since 2009, according to a Javelin Strategy & Research report. The report found that there were 12.6 million U.S. victims of identity fraud in 2012.

The frequency with which their personal information is being utilized for fraud also is on the rise, with one in four recipients of a data breach letter later becoming a victim, compared to only one in five in 2011.

Credit card data continues to be the most common form of personal information used in fraud, although personal banking information and Social Security numbers continue to be targets as well. The good news is that efforts by banks, retailers, and identity protection services to quickly notify customers of possible data breaches has helped to reduce the number of days personal information is used for fraud and the average cost of that fraud to victims. Intersections’ Tim Rohrbaugh says improvements can still be made in educating customers to take data breach warnings seriously.

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