PLEASANTON, Calif. (2/2/13)--For the second consecutive year, identity fraud in 2012 increased in the U.S., affecting 12.6 million consumers, or 5.26% of adults--the highest level since 2009, according to the 2013 Identity Fraud Report issued by Javelin Research & Strategy.
Identity fraud affected one victim every three seconds, costing consumers an average $365 in 2012, up from $354 in 2011. Most fraud costs were borne by credit unions and other financial institutions, merchants and businesses. The average resolution time remains unchanged at 12 hours, Javelin said.
On the upside, consumers information is being misused for the shortest time--48 hours--and more cases are being resolved--a 92% resolution rate--than at any other time in the past seven years, the report indicated.
One of the major findings of the report is that new account fraud (NAF) increased nearly 50%--to 1.22% of all adults in 2012 from 0.82% in 2011. With total fraud loss doubling to $9.8 billion in 2012 from 2011, NAF is a growing threat to consumers and the bottom line of private industries, Javelin said.
Many fraud cases can be detected by monitoring credit reports, because 57% of NAF cases involved the establishment of general-use and store-branded credit cards, the report said.
Data breaches are the most prevalent way for fraudsters to pilfer huge amounts of consumer information with much less risk than prior methods, such as going through a victim's trash or stealing records from an individual's health-care provider's office. In fact, one in four persons who received a notification of a breach became a fraud victim.
So to combat identity fraud, it is necessary to protect against a data breach and to properly respond if one does occur, Javelin said.
To access a summary of the report, use the link.
The Credit Union National Association, through its CUNA Strategic Services provider alliances, offers several resources and services to combat identity fraud. To view CUNA's Identity Theft Resources, use the links.