Javelin Security recently released their 2013 Identity Fraud Report showing that identity fraud incidents were up for 2012 as well as some stark insights into identity theft. In 2012, the study found that over $21 million was stolen from more than 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in the US - that's 1 victim every 3 seconds.
Perhaps because data breaches are becoming rather "common" (unfortunately), consumers are not always acting upon data breach notification. Since 1 in 4 data breach notifications are leading to fraud, it's likely that most of these people are not acting on the notification. All data breach notifications should be taken seriously. Those who have SSNs compromised in a data breach are five times more likely to be a fraud victim, so pay special attention to those notices.
"The personal information lost in data breaches are frequently used to commit fraud. While credit card numbers remain the most popular item revealed in a data breach, in reality other information can be more useful to fraudsters. Personal information such as online banking login, user name and password were compromised in 10 percent of incidents and 16 percent of incidents included Social Security numbers. Recipients need to take data breach letters seriously and protect themselves..."
Another area of concern is WiFi, with 7.4% of consumers who accessed public WiFi hotspots in the last year becoming a victim of fraud (vs those who did not use public WiFi at 4.6%). Read up on Public WiFi Safety Tips to learn how to protect yourself.
Javelin Security recommends the following basic steps to prevent, detect and resolve identity fraud:
Comprehensive and proactive monitoring is important to reduce the misuse of information. If you have received a notification of a breach, learn more about the steps you should take to prevent fraud.