The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has released its latest report on the most significant identity compromise incidents that consumers experienced in 2022. The report shows that the number of identity fraud cases remains at an all-time high.

In fact, a staggering 61% of individuals who reported a case to the ITRC were victimized by Google Voice scams. The non-profit organization is dedicated to helping those affected by identity theft.

Unsurprisingly, 55% of the reported identity crimes were linked to compromised credentials and 40% to misuse of users’ login information. Only 1% of all reported cases were attributed to individuals who were notified of an attempted misuse of their online credentials that failed.

How were these credentials compromised or misused? The ITRC says that 80% of identity compromises were linked to victims falling for scams, with 61% of victims reporting account takeovers and 32% reporting new account creation by the scammer.

In the existing account takeover category, the ITRC says criminals target IRS accounts, checking accounts, credit card accounts, social media accounts, unemployment and DMV accounts.

Moreover, social media accounts accounted for 72% of all non-governmental and non-financial accounts misused by fraudsters in 2022.

The agency’s analysis also highlights changes within the identity crime landscape, and shows how criminals are adapting or switching tactics:

Digital fraudsters are sharpening their social engineering skills and getting better at persuading people to share personal data

Identity thieves are misusing data stolen through data breaches more frequently. Specifically, they are misusing exposed Social Security numbers to gain employment or when committing crimes.

Drivers’ licenses are heavily targeted, with victims consistently reporting identity thieves have been using them to obtain auto loans, and open new bank accounts or cell phone accounts.

As previously mentioned, Google Voice scams were among the top reported scams in 2022. However, the ITRC also received reports of government impersonation scams (Department of Homeland Security or IRS) lottery/sweepstakes scams, or fraudsters pretending to be from a legitimate business (CVS, PayPal or cable companies).

During their interactions with the scammers, victims reported exposing the following information (alone or in combination with other personal data):

  • Phone number (72% of individuals)
  • Name (55%)
  • Address (9%)
  • Full or partial Social Security Number (9%)
  • Date of birth (6%)
  • Driver’s license number (5%)

Additionally, 5% of reported identity compromises were linked to data breaches or unauthorized access to computers/mobile devices holding victims’ personal information.

Specifically:

  • Social Security Numbers (59%)
  • Date of birth (23%)
  • Driver’s license number (17%)
  • Account number (10%)
  • Medical record (7%)
  • Password (6%)
  • Username (4%)

In light of the above-mentioned statistics, cybersecurity measures preventing the abuse of our identity shall be among the top security priorities for any individual or organization.

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