Feeds

Credit crunch pushes US ID fraud to 8 year low

Hi, low silver lining...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

US identity fraud losses fell sharply last year, bucking a long-running trend.

The number of fraud victims decreased 28 per cent in 2010 from 11 million to 8.1 million. The total value of fraudulent losses also fell from $56bn in 2009 to $37bn in 2010, according to an annual study by Javelin Strategy & Research. Javelin reports the figures for losses are the lowest it has seen in the eight years it has run the study.

The average fraudulent losses per victim also declined from $5,000 in 2009 to $4,600 in 2010.

Javelin reckons a significant drop in reported data breaches goes some way towards explaining the decline in identity fraud. Around 26 million records were exposed in 404 reported breaches during 2010, compared to 221 million records in 604 breaches during 2009.

More stringent checks by lenders to "authenticate users and determine credit risk" as well as improved consumer awareness of ID fraud risks and the use of account monitoring tools are also credited in the decline.

“Economic conditions also appear to have contributed to this year-over-year decline, as well as increased security measures and some significant law enforcement successes," said James Van Dyke, president and founder of Javelin Strategy & Research.

The market research outfit doesn't say this but we can't help thinking the credit crunch, while tough on small business and homeowners, has contributed towards pushing fraud losses down by making it more difficult to obtain loans or fresh lines of credit without rigorous check.

New account fraud, in which accounts are opened without the victim’s knowledge, resulted in losses of $17bn last year, the biggest single source of fraud. Existing card fraud declined by 38 per cent from $23bn in 2009 to $14bn in 2010. Fraudsters commonly carry out this type of fraud by either adding their name as a registered user on an account or changing the physical address of the account.

Fraud perpetrated by people known to victims, such as a relative or roommate, increased seven per cent last year, one of the very few categories to see an increase.

Javelin reports that the amount of fraud in retail environments is inversely proportional to the value of sales, a non-intuitive finding that means the fraud decreases as sales increase.

The study, based on telephone interviews with more than 5,000 US adults as well as online research, was sponsored by Fiserv, Intersections and Wells Fargo. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.