WASHINGTON (12/15/09)--Identity crime, especially Internet-based crime, continues to plague consumers and the economy, according to the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) Identity Theft Outlook for 2010. The report is based on developments during the past year and notes what’s ahead in 2010, including trends in criminal activity and law enforcement. The report also outlined six trends ITAC anticipates for 2010:
* More criminals will use malware to steal usernames and passwords, and recruit accomplices as “money mules” to open phony accounts and transfer funds. “It is the responsibility of consumers and businesses alike to demand the best security protection and to implement it into their everyday experiences,” said Michael Stanfield, CEO, Intersections Inc., a CUNA Strategic Service. * More collaboration on cyber security. The Obama administration will continue to break down silos within the government and collaborate more with the industry as it develops and implement cyber security policy, ITAC said. * Expanded use of identity management solutions to address identity theft, data breaches and cybercrime. * Changes resulting from “Red Flag” rules. Red flags are any activity or practice that indicates possible identity theft. Consumers will face questions about address changes and other behavior, including missed payments or changes in spending patterns. Consumers may be annoyed until they adjust to the new levels of scrutiny. * Stiffer sentences for those convicted of identity theft. The law requires a mandatory two-year sentence for aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors also are pursuing added jail time for related felonies, including wire fraud and use of unauthorized access devices. * Possible federal regulation of breaches of consumer data. The Senate is slated to consider two measures that would regulate how public and private organizations protect personal information.
ITAC is a nonprofit coalition of financial-services companies, committing to protect consumers from identity theft. Through its partner Intersections, ITAC offers identity management services.