A few weeks ago, Javelin Safety & Research released its comprehensive survey on Identity Theft & Fraud for the fifth consecutive year.
Let me boil it down to the Top 5 Identity Theft Findings that impact you (and my comments and opinions in parentheses):
- Overall Identity Fraud Incidents Increased in the United States (the problem is getting worse as the economy sinks and people turn to crime to pay their bills)
- Costs to Consumers are Down (businesses are being forced to take greater responsibility for the liabilities and costs of identity theft – in other words, the burden is shifting from the consumer to corporate America)
- Fraudsters are Moving Much More Quickly (the crime of identity theft is moving from garden variety criminals into the hands of organized crime)
- Gender Disparity—Women were 26 percent more likely to be victims of identity fraud than men in 2008 (three factors: 1. women’s purses contain more identity; 2. women are less cynical and more trusting of others [a generalization that proves itself anecdotally in my identity theft speeches every week – it is much easier to get a purse from a woman than a wallet from a man]; 3. more women than men are responsible for household finances, putting them at higher risk of losing the data
- Low-tech Methods Still Most Popular (technology is an enabler of this crime, but not a root cause – see my post on this topic)
Conclusion? Identity theft isn’t going away – until we deal with it personally, in our corporate boardrooms and legislatively, it will continue to be America’s fastest growing crime.
For more information, check out the Javelin Press Release here:
You can download the entire Fraud Report 2009 here:
John Sileo, Identity Theft Speaker and Fan of Javelin’s Studies