Cyber security better than real world
The number of people falling victim to identity fraud is on the rise, a major US study has confirmed, but online fraud is deemed safe provided people use all the security controls that are to hand.
According to findings released today by Javelin Strategy and Research, the number of identity fraud victims has increased 22% to 9.9 million adults in the US.
If businesses appear unable to stop the fraudsters, they are slowly starting to get the better of them by detecting and resolving fraud more quickly.
The research has shown that mean consumer costs of identity fraud plummeted by 31% and stood at $496 per incident last year.
The researchers attribute the reduction in incident costs to fraud being detected and resolved faster, thanks to industry efforts and consumer education.
Javelin’s assessment is one of the largest and longest-running studies of identity fraud, and has assessed the experiences of 24,000 people in the past five years. This latest study was based on phone interviews last October with 4,784 people, of which around 10% said they had been identity fraud victims.
It covers all types of fraud, and the figures it tracks are not limited to cyber crime. James Van Dyke of Javelin explained that “crimes of opportunity, such as information from lost wallets, still comprise the vast majority of incidents. These account for over 40% of incidents. Around one in four victims had personal identification numbers (PIN) compromised on their ban cards. Online fraud came in as being at root of around 11% of incidents.
One message from Javelin is that online is safer than offline, but only when consumers use all the available security controls.
“Once online access is secure, consumers should move financial transactions online to eliminate many of the most common avenues fraudsters use to obtain personal information and gain more control compared to traditional channels” the company said in a statement issued today.
Moving online includes turning off paper invoices, statements and cheques, including pay and salary statements, and replacing them with electronic versions, it advised.