A wide-ranging study on identity theft found that the number of identity theft victims jumped by eight percent in 2017, making more than 16 million consumers in the US who’ve been affected by this form of fraud.
The study, released by Javelin Strategy and Research, found that industry attempts to reduce identity theft have been largely unsuccessful, with 1.3 million more people falling victim to the schemes in 2017, resulting in the loss of nearly $17 billion.
One interesting trend, however, is that credit card fraud is no longer the main way thieves are finding their way in to steal people’s money and identities. There was a significant increase in fraud surrounding online payment platforms such as PayPal, and online merchants like Amazon.
Banks Work Hard to Keep Customers Trusting Them
Another worrying finding is that the increase in identity theft has folks losing trust in their financial institutions. In spite of new technology like EMV chip credit cards, banks are still held accountable by their customers when their security is breached. Credit card banks are working hard to ensure people’s safety, adopting new technologies that allow cardholders to freeze their accounts temporarily if they fear their information has been compromised, and having zero liability policies in place for fraudulent transactions.
Account takeover, which is one of the toughest types of fraud for consumers to recover from, tripled in 2017 to reach a four-year high. Losses were over five billion dollars, representing a 120 percent increase over 2016. The average victim of account takeover spent 16 hours resolving the ordeal and ended up losing $290 out of their own pockets.
Online shopping was the riskiest behavior, as credit card scammers are thwarted by EMV chip credit cards and seek out more of what is known as “card not present” fraud. This type of fraud, which happens solely online, is now 81 percent more common than point-of-sale fraud. Criminals are also getting more sophisticated and pulling off more complex schemes, according to the survey’s authors.
The 2018 Identity Fraud Study, produced by Javelin, is in its fifteenth consecutive year and included responses from 5,000 consumers.