Despite widespread efforts to fight this high-tech crime, the crooks successfully netted two million more victims and stole $16 billion in 2016.
Identity thieves successfully victimized a record 15.4 million Americans in 2016, a 16% jump from 2015, according to the new “2017 Identity Fraud Study” from Javelin Strategy & Research.
Despite widespread efforts to fight this trend, crooks successfully netted two million more victims and stole $16 billion—nearly a billion dollar year-to-year increase.
As evidenced, ID thieves are moving online as the continued adoption of chip-based EMV cards — which are nearly impossible to counterfeit — makes fraud at the checkout counter more difficult.
The study also found that the increase in EMV cards and terminals was a catalyst for driving fraudsters to shift to fraudulently opening new accounts. Though fraudsters are becoming better at evading detection, consumers with an online presence are getting better at detecting fraud quicker, leading to less stolen overall per attempt.
NEW ACCOUNT FRAUD
Among some of the study findings, the incidence rate of identity theft rose by 16% from 2015, the highest incidence since Javelin began tracking identity fraud. This increase was driven by an increase in existing card fraud, including a significant hike in card-not-present transactions.
As EMV cards and terminals continue to permeate the U.S. payments environment, fraudsters shift to opening accounts. At the same time, fraudsters have become better at evading detection, with new-account fraud (NAF) victims being notably more likely to discover fraud when reviewing their credit report (15%) or when they were contacted by a debt collector (13%).