Among findings from The 2009 Identity Fraud Survey Report: Annual fraud amount only increased slightly by 7 percent to $48 billion in the past year; mean consumer costs of identity fraud plummeted by 31 percent to $496 per incident

February 10, 2009

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 9, 2009 " The 2009 Identity Fraud Survey Report " released today by Javelin Strategy & Research ( " confirms that the number of identity fraud victims has increased 22 percent to 9.9 million adults in the United States, while the total annual fraud amount only increased slightly by seven percent to $48 billion over the past year. The report found detection and resolution efforts are working well—consumers and businesses are detecting and resolving fraud more quickly. As a result the mean consumer costs of identity fraud plummeted by 31 percent to $496 per incident in 2008. The study also found that women were 26 percent more likely to be victims of identity fraud than men this past year.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the comprehensive survey is independently produced by Javelin Strategy & Research. It is the nation's longest-running study of identity fraud, with 24,000 U.S. respondents over the past five years. Identity fraud is defined as the unauthorized use of another person's personal information to achieve illicit financial gain. In October 2008, nearly 4,800 telephone interviews with U.S. consumers identified important findings about the impact of fraud while at the same time uncovering both areas of progress and concern for Americans.

"Javelin's 2009 Identity Fraud Report highlights that fraud is increasing but it is being caught more quickly; consumer costs are declining; and crimes of opportunity, such as information from lost wallets, still comprise the vast majority of incidents," said James Van Dyke, president and founder of Javelin Strategy & Research. "The good news is research shows consumers have more control than they may think and more of them are actively taking steps to protect themselves. Additionally, the financial industry has made significant strides to resolve fraud incidents for their customers and put stronger controls in place to limit fraud, which is lessening the impact of this crime."

Other findings in this year's report reinforce the trend that when the cause of fraud is known by the victim, criminals are frequently obtaining personal information from stolen physical belongings. Stolen ATM/Debit personal identification

Javelin Strategy & Research

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