For several consecutive years following the FTCâ€™s original finding on â€œAmericaâ€™s fastest growing white collar crimeâ€ Javelin Strategy & Research reported thatÂ unauthorizedÂ transactions committed in another personâ€™s name were on the wane. Then for the last two years they found itâ€™s up sharply againâ€“so whatâ€™s up? Unemployment and other indicators of a tough economic environment are whatâ€™s up, and fraud seems to be correlated. No one can prove such connections, but Javelin charted GNP growth against the rise and fall of ID fraud, and the two opposite curves look like these two symbols, except turned sideways: )(
Identity fraud is a combination of two crimes: theft, followed by transactional misuse of the data. Unquestionably, there are highly-sophisticated â€œprofessionalsâ€ operating from sometimes half a world away using the latest advanced technology, and there are also desperate perpetrators using whatever information they stumble across. Javelinâ€™s separate studies (such as the Safety Scorecards) show that industry systems are actually improving a great deal (case: large FIsâ€™ Prevention scores jumped from 51% to 79% last year, a record increase), but in these tough times it seems criminals are evolving fast too.
Desperate times make for desperate measures, and in 2009 a record 11.1million adults were victimized by ID Fraud in the US.