2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report

2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report
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2010 Identity Fraud Landscape

The total annual fraud amount continued to rise in 2009, with an increase over 2008 by 12.5%. Driving the Identity (ID) fraud was the increase in new accounts fraud, which showed longer periods of misuse and detection therefore more dollar losses associated with it than any other type of fraud. Also, rising was the amount of US adults who became victims of identity fraud. In 2009, 11.1 million U.S. adults became victims of identity fraud, a 12% increase over 2008, and a 37% rise since 2007. The increased fraud incidence is being driven by the poor economy coupled with an increasingly global, hierarchal and sophisticated criminal enterprise that specializes in developing new weapons of attack. Meanwhile the consumer costs, the dollar amounts the victim pays on average out-of-pocket, reached an all time low.

Impact of Identity Fraud

The growth in identity fraud victimization rates over the past year is harmful not only because of the dollar losses caused from identity fraud, but also because of the emotional impact on the victims. Identity Fraud victimization and the accompanying fear it generates lowers faith in the safety of the system and causes secondary effects, which are demonstrated by changes of behavior, such as avoidance of certain merchants, altered usage of payment types and channels, and severed relationships with primary card companies and banks.

Javelin's Fraud Prevention, Detection and Resolution™

Javelin has created a Prevention Detection resolution model which includes steps to take in order to prevent fraud from happening in the first place; actions to detect fraud earlier in the event that it happens; and what to do to resolve fraud if you become a victim



Despite the harsh economic and regulatory challenges that financial institutions have faced in the past year, they have succeeded in improving identity safety and security capabilities for their customers. FIs particularly have made significant progress in prevention, the most important area in reducing identity fraud.



For the first time, the disparity in mean times of detection and length of misuse between self-detection and external notification has leveled off

Year after year, “friendly fraud” continues to incur the highest mean fraud amount, holding relatively steady at $11,827 in 2009.  “Friendly fraud” results in higher than average fraud amounts due to the longer duration of misuse, at 325 days


There is a strong positive correlation between the mean length of detection time and mean consumer cost.  As mean consumer costs increase the longer the fraud goes undetected.

Displaying a desire to directly combat fraud, half of fraud victims (49%) filed a police report, an increase from 39% filing a report in 2008.  This trend indicates a consumer vigilance to actively fight fraud rather than focus simply on resolution. The percentage of victims reporting an arrest, prosecution, conviction, or civil suit also at least doubled compared to 2008.

Javelin's Take on the 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report: Identity Fraud Continues to Rise- New Accounts Fraud Drives Increase; Cosnumer Cost at an All-Time Low

In Javelin’s most recent report: 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report: Identity Fraud Continues to Rise – New Accounts Fraud Drives Increase; Consumer Costs at an All-Time Low provides a detailed, comprehensive analysis of identity fraud in the United States in order to help consumers and businesses better understand the effectiveness of methods used for its prevention, detection and resolution. A nationally representative sample of 5,000 U.S. adults, including 703 fraud victims, was surveyed via a 50-question phone interview to gain insight into this crime and the effects on its victims. This report, supported by the Better Business Bureau, is issued as a longitudinal update to the Javelin 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Identity Fraud Survey reports and the FTC’s 2003 report.


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