ID Theft Down, But Losses Up, Survey Finds

The number of identity fraud victims dropped in 2010, but

the average out-of-pocket losses have gone up, as thieves focus on new account

fraud and stealing from people they know.

Total card-related identity fraud in the United States

dropped by a third from $56 billion in 2009 to $37 billion in 2010, according

to the results of a consumer

fraud survey released Feb. 9 by Javelin

Strategy and Research. The total number of victims nationwide also dropped

more than 26 percent, from 11 million in 2009 to 8.1 million in 2010, the

report found. The mean fraud amount per victim also declined from $4,991 in

2009 to $4,607 in 2010, Javelin said.

While the number of victims are currently at 2007 levels,

the drop between 2009 and 2010 is the largest single-year decrease since

Javelin started the survey back in 2003.

While all that sounds like good news, the report noted that

victim’s losses, which include the costs of clearing up identity theft and

covering some of the charges incurred by thieves, have shot up 63 percent, on

average, from $387 in 2009 to $631 per incident in 2010, the report found.

“Identity fraud underwent a marked decline and shift over

the past year,” said James Van Dyke, Javelin’s president and founder.

Annual incidence rates also fell to 3.5 percent of all card

transactions, compared to 4.8 percent in 2009, Javelin said. Identity theft

victims account for 3.5 percent of the population in the United States, Javelin


The ”significant drop” in reported data breaches may have

contributed to the decline, Javelin said. There were 404 breaches with 26

million records compromised in 2010, compared to 604 breaches and 221 million

records in 2009, according to the research report.

For more, read the eWeek article: ID Theft Declined in 2010 but Average Losses Increased: Survey.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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