Javelin: Identity fraud reports increased by more than a million last year

Summary:A new report from Javelin Strategy & Research found that identity fraud claimed approximately one new victim every three seconds in 2012.

Identity fraud grew sharply in 2012 with more than 12 million reported claims, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research.

Analysts found that the number of identity fraud incidents increased by approximately a million people in 2012. If you want to read that in even more frightening terms, researchers equated that with one new victim in the United States every three seconds.

In financial terms, the dollar amount stolen increased to $21 billion. Javelin noted that this is a three-year high but more than half of the all-time high of $47 billion in 2004.


The most common method used for stealing identities appeared to be data breach notification letters. Approximately one in four recipients of these kinds of messages ended up being a victim.

Anything involving social security numbers also seemed to up the ante as consumers who had their SSNs compromised were five times more likely to be the victim of identity fraud than the average consumer.

The bright side (if there is one) is that researchers said businesses now respond faster to fraud claims, meaning that a consumer’s information is at risk for a shorter period of time, reducing the mean cost per victim.

Javelin Strategy & Research CEO Jim Van Dyke explained in the report that this is because "consumers and institutions are now starting to act as partners," but "consumers must take data breach notifications more seriously."

Chart via Javelin Strategy & Research

Topics: Security, E-Commerce, IT Priorities


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.