ID Fraud

Javelin Study Finds Identity Fraud Reached New High in 2009

The newly released Javelin Strategy & Research 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report reveals that the number of identity fraud victims in the United States has jumped by 12 percent to 11.1 million adults – the highest increase to-date since the survey started in 2003. Some of the study findings are listed below:

  1. Technology: Friend and Foe. Technology is helping to detect fraud, but fraudsters are also taking advantage of it to commit crimes. When consumers discover fraud through electronic monitoring, they typically spend less time and money to recover. Conversely, when consumers wait to find fraud on paper statements, it takes longer to detect and their losses are greater. The study also found that criminals are targeting online accounts, with fraudulent new e-commerce accounts (on sites such as eBay and Amazon) increasing by 12 percent.
  2. Youth are Ripe Targets. Younger consumers who conduct more online transactions take longer to detect fraud and are victims for longer periods of time. Consumers aged 18-24 suffered the highest account misuse through social networking. They also took the longest time to detect fraud, and were victims for the longest period of time. This age group is also more likely to take action after a fraud occurs by switching financial institutions.

How can you minimize the chances of being affected by ID theft?

  • Use a monitoring service to protect your account by proactively detecting identity theft. You could minimize devastation by using a service like IDProtect Plus to monitor your credit and personal data around the clock. RBFCU members automatically receive the low-cost, high-value IDProtect Plus service on their cash back checking accounts.
  • Use online account access to regularly review transactions
  • Check your credit reports with a rotating schedule using one of the three major bureaus once every four months. These are free and can be requested at annualcreditreport.com or 877-322-8228.