Identity Fraud: 1 Victim Every 3 Seconds in U.S.

Social Security CardA recent article by Help Net Security.com reports that there were 12.6 million Internet and computer based identity fraud victims  during 2012 in the United States.

“The study found 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in the United States in the past year, which equates to 1 victim every 3 seconds. The report also found that nearly 1 in 4 data breach letter recipients became a victim of identity fraud, with breaches involving Social Security numbers to be the most damaging. Over the past year, companies are responding more quickly which means a consumer’s information is being misused for fewer days than ever before, and the mean cost per victim has been flattening.”

The crooks are getting more efficient at their illegal “trade”; in that they now successfully commit fraud against 25%, “1 in 4 consumers that received a data breach letter became a victim of identity fraud, which is the highest rate since 2010. This underscores the need for consumers to take all notifications seriously. Not all breaches are created equal. The study found consumers who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were 5 times more likely to be a fraud victim than an average consumer.”

Folks, identity fraud (theft) is alive and well. And you are the potential target…not some organization or company…you. Your credit worthiness, your bank accounts, and your money are at stake if (when) you become a victim.

“Email and other proactive alerts can help consumers discover and stop identity fraud more quickly. Consumers must retain vigilance as 50 percent found the fraud themselves by monitoring their bank accounts, statements, credit scores and purchasing identity protection services. When reported in a timely manner, costs can be kept down.”

Reference: Help Net Security article

Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.

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Remember, personal computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,

Paul

paulsinternetsecurity(at)yahoo.com

I’m also on Twitter, @PaulsInternet.

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and FreeByte.com

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Filed under Cybercrime, Internet Security, Warning

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