Aite Report – ID Theft Down But Not Out in 2021

Aite announced a new Impact Report commissioned by GIACT, a Refinitiv company, that details the impact of identity theft here in the US.

The new report shows that while Identity Theft impacts 1 in 4 consumers, it actually decreased throughout last year as the pandemic began to subside.

In 2021, the overall identity theft rate was 25% compared to 27% in 2020. The slight decrease was primarily a result of the ending of many state and federal government subsidy programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and people who co-habited during the pandemic resuming their normal residences.

The report was commissioned by GIACT with the purpose of examining the rate of identity theft during 2021 and comparing it to activity in 2020.

Application Fraud Spreads to Bank Accounts

Perhaps one of the most notable trends in identity theft is how much it is spreading into bank accounts. According to Aite, Identity thieves open many types of accounts using the personal information of others, but bank accounts are the most common.

Specifically, 17% of Americans experienced application-related fraud of any type, but the most common type of application fraud was bank accounts.

The top types of application fraud in order were

  • #1 Checking Accounts
  • #2 Credit Cards or Store Cards
  • #3 Mobile Phone Accounts
  • #4 Utilities
  • #5 Buy Now/Pay Later
  • #6 Health Insurance

Fraud experts believe that bank accounts became the most common target for identity thieves because of the opportunity to push illicit funds gained through stimulus programs through those accounts or to use the accounts as mules for other illicit funds.

In 33% of The Cases, The Victim Knows The Perpetrator

Perhaps one of the most surprising trends in identity theft is just how often identity theft is committed by someone that the victim knows.

According to the Aite Survey of over 8,000 US Consumers, when application fraud did occur, 33% of the victims knew the identity thief.

The most common types of friendly fraud occurred in utilities, health insurance, and Medicaid benefits with Checking Accounts being the 4th most popular type of fraud for friendly fraudsters.

A Great Report You Should Download

I won’t give all of the stats away because I am sure Aite and Giact would like for you to read the full 52 page report for yourselves.

You can request the report here – Identity Theft Report.