Approximately 1.4 million more adults were victimized by identity fraud in 2011, compared to 2010, as the number of fraud incidents increased by 13 percent in the United States.
One of the key factors potentially contributing to the increase in identity fraud was the significant rise in data breaches, according to Javelin Research & StrategyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just-released 2012 Identity Fraud Report.
ItÃ‚ found that 15 percent of Americans, or about 36 million people, were notified of a data breach in 2011. Those receiving a data breach notification were 9.5 times more likely to become a victim of identity fraud.
The report also found that consumersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ social media and mobile behaviors may be putting them at greater risk of identity fraud.
LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook users had the highest incidence of fraud although there is no proof of direct causation.
Despite the warnings, people on social networks are still sharing too much personal information frequently used to authenticate a consumerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s identity.
Specifically, 68 percent of people with public social media profiles share their birthday information (with 45 percent sharing month, date and year); 63 percent shared their high school name; 18 percent shared their phone number; and 12 percent shared their petÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name.
Smartphone users are also experiencing greater incidence of fraud, Javelin found, with seven percent victims of identity fraud. This is one-third higher incidence rate compared to the general public.
The good news is that despite the increase in identity fraud last year, it is becoming less profitable for fraudsters as the dollar amount stolen remained steady.
In addition, consumer out-of-pocket costs have decreased by 44 percent since 2004. Javelin attributed this to improved prevention and detection tools that have come available as well as fraud alerts leading to reduced detection time.
Check out I.I.I. info onÃ‚ identity theft.