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The Notable Decline of Identity Fraud 130

Orome1 writes "In 2010 the number of identity fraud victims decreased by 28 percent to 8.1 million adults in the United States, three million fewer victims than the prior year. Total annual fraud decreased from $56 billion to $37 billion, the smallest amount in the eight years of the study. While overall fraud declined, consumer out-of-pocket costs rose significantly, mainly due to the types of fraud that were successfully perpetrated and an increase in "friendly fraud." The number of identity fraud incidents decreased by 28 percent over the past year, which brought them down to levels not seen since 2007. The mean fraud amount per victim declined from $4,991 in 2009 to $4,607."
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The Notable Decline of Identity Fraud

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  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @11:22AM (#35138090)

    Thieves have a good chance of stealing the identity of someone that is probably worse off than them.

  • Re:Not worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @11:28AM (#35138152) Journal

    All the rational criminals must be moving to more lucrative sources of ill-gotten gains.

    Like finance.

  • Hrm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techsoldaten ( 309296 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @11:29AM (#35138178) Journal

    Coincidentally, I don't get offers of free credit in the mail from EVERY bank in the United States anymore either. Wonder if that could have anything to do with it.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @11:39AM (#35138308)

    A colleague of mine was a victim; it's a royal pain in the ass to get straightened out. The perpetrator somehow got a hold of his Social Security number, and got a credit card in my colleague's name at either Lowe's or Home Depot (building suppliers, for the non US folks). The perpetrator maxed out the card in one day. Since the crook gave a false address, my colleague never got the bill. So it wasn't paid, and this set off some sort off nuclear credit chain reaction which blocked all his credit cards. When he finally figured out what happened, it took him weeks to get it all right again. So the money is the smallest problem. It's the collateral damage that is the big problem.

  • by Insightfill ( 554828 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:18PM (#35138886) Homepage

    While "Identity Fraud" is a step up from "Identity Theft", it still poses it as a problem of the victim. In car theft, you are out one car. Did you leave it unlocked? Did you park in a bad side of town? It's somewhat your problem.

    In "Identity Theft", you are often nowhere near the crime, or really had no way to stop it. Underpaid waiter writes down your visa number and expiration date while you pay your bill - bam! Someone calls the bank knowing your mother's maiden name and your grade school - bam!

    Yet somehow, it's your fault.

    Identity fraud is better - someone has been busy defrauding people - it's not you. By moving it away from the word 'theft' to 'fraud', it puts people in a different frame of mind, like forgery and such where the victim really has no chance of stopping it from happening.

    But: identity fraud is still different from credit fraud, and the press seems to like lumping them together. We already have laws on the books for when someone defrauds a bank claiming to be you, yet the current debate and billing systems still put it in YOUR lap. As soon as we get a good consumer lobbyist in place, we'll get the laws changed to make the banks take responsibility when someone lies to them, instead of you being responsible for cleaning up the mess.

    Ok, that last one was a bit of a fantasy. Sorry about that.

  • by _0xd0ad ( 1974778 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:38PM (#35139184) Journal

    As a rule, they take the easy option regardless of consequences.

    Precisely why making crime more difficult is often a pretty good deterrent.

  • by NevarMore ( 248971 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @12:59PM (#35139502) Homepage Journal

    With so many children born out of wedlock and divorces theres good chances that someones mothers maiden name is their current last name.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford