The number of identity fraud victims increased by three percent (13.1 million consumers) in the U.S. last year, but that the amount stolen decreased by 6% to $15 billion.
The 2016 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that the rise of EMV has already had a significant impact on fraudsters’ behavior and doubled the incidence of new account fraud. The study also found that many consumers who do not trust their financial institutions are engaging in behavior that enables fraudsters to use their information for 75 percent longer.
The annual 2016 Identity Fraud Study is a comprehensive analysis of identity fraud trends, independently produced by Javelin and made possible by LifeLock, Inc., a leading provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers. Now in its thirteenth consecutive year, it is the nation’s longest-running study of identity fraud, with 64,000 respondents surveyed since 2003.
The 2016 Identity Fraud Study found four significant trends:
• More identity fraud victims, less stolen – The number of identity fraud victims was at its second highest level in six years, but the amount stolen was at its lowest point in the past six years. Identity fraud is a serious issue as fraudsters have stolen $112 billion in the past six years. That equals $35,600 stolen per minute, or enough to pay for four years of college in just four minutes.
• EMV drives a doubling of new account fraud – In 2015 the U.S. switched to EMV, which is designed to reduce in-person fraud and the profitability of counterfeit card operations. Fraudsters have reacted by moving away from existing card fraud to focus on new account fraud. This drove a 113 percent increase in incidence of new account fraud, which now accounts for 20 percent of all fraud losses.
• Consumer choices negatively impacting fraud detection – The study found those consumers that do not trust their financial institutions and do not take advantage of the services offered by them are setting the stage for more damage if they become fraud victims. The study found consumers that do not trust their financial institutions are less likely to use transaction monitoring, email alerts, credit freezes and black market monitoring. This results in their information being used for 75 percent longer by fraudsters and incurring a 185 percent greater mean consumer expense than those victims that have high trust in their financial institutions.
• U.S. consumer data being used for fraud internationally – Identity fraud is a global issue. The study found that 18 percent of the identity fraud using U.S. cards, or $2.4 billion, was conducted outside the U.S.. There was an average of $1,585 per incident, although for most consumers there was no out of pocket cost as the major issuers offer $0 liability. Issuers are doing a good job of quickly detecting this type of fraud. They are proactively detecting 69 percent of these cases.
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