According to a new report from Gartner, 7.5% of Americans were victims of financial fraud in 2008. Data breaches were the main cause of the financial losses.
Gartner, in its survey of 5,000 adults, showed that 70% of respondents had never been a victim of identity theft / fraud. For those who have, the breakdown includes 14% of respondents who had their credit card data used, 7% had their debit card used, 6% had a new account opened in their name, 5% were the victims of money transfer fraud and 4% had checks forged.
Of those who had been victims of fraud, 19% cited a data breach as the cause. That is the highest figure cited, after which were wallet theft (16%) and online scams (13%). This data clearly shows that data breaches are leading to incidents of identity theft and fraud.
Victims of certain types of fraud are able to recover more easily than others. The cost of most credit card fraud, for example, is not borne by the consumer. However, the survey found that bank account fraud can damage credit rating, sometimes with damage that lasts for more than a year.
The survey indicates that less than one-third of victims reported these crimes to law enforcement and only 5% reported it to the Federal Trade Commission.