According to Javelin Strategy & Research, the rate of Identity Fraud increased by 13 percent in 2011. Over 11.6 million adults were victimized in the United States.
On a positive note, the dollar amount stolen remained constant. James Van Dyke, president and founder of Javelin Strategy & Research, attributes this to consumers, the financial services industry, law enforcement and government agencies stopping fraud earlier and making new account fraud more difficult to perpetrate.
The report also found that irresponsible social media and mobile behavior can put consumers at a greater risk for identity fraud.
Consumers are exposing sensitive data on social networks by not securing their profile information. Fraudsters can use this data to authenticate a user’s identity. Public profiles analyzed by the study were shown to display the following:
- 68 percent showed their birthday (45% shared month, date & year)
- 63 percent shared the name of their high school
- 18 percent shared their phone number
- 12 percent shared their pet’s name
The study also found that Smartphone users were 1/3 more likely to be the victim of identity fraud than the general public. And this figure could likely be due to consumer behaviors:
- 32 percent do not update their operating system timely
- 62 percent do not use a password to access the device
- 32 percent save device login information
Victims of data breaches are 9.5 times more likely to victims of identity fraud, so it is imperative that you take any notifications of a potential data breach seriously.
Another interesting finding is that people who regularly check-in with geo-location services are more than twice as likely to become a victim of identity fraud.
“Javelin Strategy & Research recommends that consumers follow a three-step approach to minimize their risk and impact of identity fraud: Prevention, Detection and Resolution™.”
View their report for Eight Safety Tips, additional report findings and other helpful links to help you and your loved ones stay safe from identity fraud.
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