Synthetic identity theft is one of the most common types of crime that combines real and fake information to create a new identity. In most cases, the real information that is used for synthetic ID fraud is stolen and used to open fraudulent accounts and make fraudulent purchases.
Using the synthetic ID fraud methods, the scammers can steam money from creditors including credit card companies.
Synthetic ID Fraud Statistics
- Over 14.2 million credit card numbers were exposed in 2017.
- Over 158 million Social Security numbers were exposed in 2017.
- 7% of ID theft victims in 2016 later experienced identity fraud.
- In 2017, identity theft accounted for 13.87% of all consumer complaints.
- 73% of Americans are concerned that their financial accounts info could be hacked
- 133,015 reports were lodged for identity theft in 2017.
These figures show the numbers of cases that are reported to the local authorities, but the true fact here is that more than half of the cases related to financial frauds go unreported, making it essential to use a reliable fraud prevention tool when making payments online.
Who’s the victim of synthetic identity theft?
This is where the synthetic identity fraud crime gets more interesting. It can go undetected for months since the synthetic identity theft has no specific consumer victim. The fraud may be only detected until the identity thief uses up the remainder of the credit line.
In addition to the money theft, synthetic ID fraud may also be used for many other purposes like to file fake tax returns, obtain employment, get medical care, etc.
How to help protect yourself from synthetic ID theft?
- Awareness regarding the steps to be taken or the fraud prevention tools may be the ideal way to keep yourself protected against the problem. But that’s not all you can do, so let’s have a look at the few things you may want to consider to ensure complete safety.
- Ensure the safety of your Social Security documents that contain the number safe and secure.
- Stay protected from phishing attempts, which may be attempted via phone, email, or text.
- Monitor your credit report regularly. This can be done annually using AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Review your annual Social Security statement to make sure the amount on your statement aligns with what you know.
- Use only trusted and secure platforms to make payments for your online purchases.
Someone somewhere may be using your credit card details or your social security number even without your information. Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure to keep your details protected when you make online payments. Only choose the platforms that are secured and protected using technologies to prevent frauds.