Identity Fraud Rates Reach All-Time High

Identity Fraud Rates Reach All-Time High

February 6, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Last year marked a large shift in the world of data breaches. For the first time, Social Security Numbers were compromised more than credit card numbers. A staggering 16.7 million consumers were affected by identity fraud last year, an 8% increase over year-ago levels and the highest volume since Javelin Strategy & Research began their annual surveys in 2003.

This fraud resulted in losses of $16.8 billion.

Featured Fair Credit Card

Top Features:

All credit types welcome to apply!

It’s important to note the difference between identity theft and identity fraud. Identity fraud involves the theft of someone’s personal information for the purpose of financial gain, such as a data breach used to collect credit card numbers. Identity theft involves the collection of personal information without the financial element. A good example of this would be the Yahoo data breach, where fraudsters took usernames, passwords, and other account details but no payment information.

Identity theft is still concerning because it provides a gateway for identity fraud. The Javelin study revealed a strong increase in “intermediary account openings,” which are online accounts used as a middle man between the merchant and the payment method. PayPal is a notable example. Fraudsters can create these accounts with someone’s personal information and use them to transfer funds from stolen credit cards, or existing accounts in the person’s name.

The Javelin study found that card-not-present fraud is now 81% more prevalent than card present fraud, and a recent Radial study noticed a similar trend. However, as the Radial study indicated, the increase in card-not-present fraud may be from a general increase in online shopping in America.

What can you do about all of this? Be careful when giving out your personal information. If you have the option to use a two-factor authentication for your accounts, enable it. This makes it much more difficult for fraudsters to steal your information. Monitor your payment accounts closely for suspicious activity, and sign up for account alerts when possible. Take proactive and reactive steps to protect your personal information, and you can continue making purchases in the normal manner.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 6, 2018. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

Featured Secured Card
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Secured Card
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Intro APR Offer on Purchases, No Annual Fee For First Year

Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval

Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee


bill-hardekopf

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.