A study released by Javelin Strategy & Research has concluded that the number of identity fraud cases in 2016 rose 16% from 2015, costing victims $16 billion in losses. This includes both identity theft and credit card fraud. It estimates that 15.4 million individuals in the U.S. were victimized by fraud in 2016, which is 2 million more than 2015.
Although the study shows that 2016 was worse than 2015, if you look closely, the statistics have been bad since 2011. Consistently between 2011 and 2016, between 11.6 and 15.4 million individuals in the U.S. have been victims of fraud, costing anywhere between $15 billion and $22 billion. That’s with a “b” for billion.
The results show that the problem is serious and is not being sufficiently addressed. Although people lost the most money in 2012 ($22 billion), the most victims were affected in 2016 (15.4 million). No matter, the problem is not going away and we will no doubt continue to see scammers get more and more sophisticated in their quest to commit fraud. The lesson learned is that cybersecurity and the protection of personal information must be priority for companies and the government.