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2012 Identity Theft Trends
February 28, 2013
The 2012 identity theft numbers are out and can teach us a lot about the threats and fraud exposure areas so that as individuals and identity protection advisors, we can take the necessary steps to prevent and minimize consequences of identity theft.
It appears from the Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2012 Identity Theft Report that 12.6 million people became victims of identity theft which is about one million more victims than in 2011 and roughly one victim for every three seconds in 2012. More importantly, 25% of victims had received data breach notification from the companies they do business with which is an important indication of how known information such as data breach can be leveraged to prevent identity fraud. Stolen social security numbers caused the more damage and the total cost of identity fraud in 2012 was $21 billion.
There are two important take away points from these reported 2012 identity theft numbers. First, social security numbers are increasingly used to open new accounts which can go undetected for longer periods of time than existing account fraud, and, consumers must pay attention to data breach notification letters they receive from businesses because not only they can take measures to monitor and prevent fraud but also consumers can take advantage of free monitoring services that companies offer to their customers after they realize their customer personal information has been stolen.
Identity theft schemes are planned and executed using pieces of personal information which are gathered over a period of time and not all at once. As consumers and business protect their personal information, data breach notifications must be quick and properly leveraged to minimize identity fraud cases and costs.
Visit our identity theft blog soon to read the expanded article around 2012 identity theft trends.
Until next time, be identity safe,
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