February 8, 2018
Online fraud is now 81 percent more likely than fraud at the point of sale, and account takeover fraud (ATO) made up a significant and growing chunk of total online fraud in 2017, according to a new report. In its 2018 Identity Fraud Study, Pleasanton, Calif.-based research firm Javelin Strategy & Research found that 16.7 million people had their identities stolen and used fraudulently last year, the most since it began tracking the data in 2003.
The surge in stolen identities (up eight percent from 2016) contributed to a 120 percent increase in losses attributed to ATO fraud from 2016 to 2017. Javelin reported that total ATO losses reached $5.1 billion last year. Account takeover fraud is being fueled by a change in the information that hackers are stealing and selling. For the first time, Javelin found more Social Security numbers were compromised in breaches than credit card numbers.
“2017 was a runaway year for fraudsters, and with the amount of valid information they have on consumers, their attacks are just getting more complex,” said Al Pascual, senior vice president, research director and head of fraud and security for Javelin Strategy & Research. “Fraudsters are growing more sophisticated in response to industry’s efforts to implement better security.”