Feeds

Credit crunch pushes US ID fraud to 8 year low

Hi, low silver lining...

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.